Inspirators Burn Fire Burn

The Inspirators hail from Hamilton, ON, and feature members from reggae-rockers Race and the Soul Virgins. They try on a number of different styles on their debut album, ranging from Latin shuffles to ska rave-ups. Drummer Paul "Drummy" Pryce propels most of the tunes with up-tempo rim shots. The reggae content sounds awfully rushed, though, diminishing the rhythmic power the Inspirators are trying to achieve. Also, the overall mix plays it way too safe - dub tunes should be a license to go wild in the studio, particularly when that studio is Grant Avenue. Atmospheric textures are achieved nicely on "Danger Pay," which is also vocalist Mike Rajczak's best moment on the disc. Overall, this disc is eager to please, the lyrics are sunny and there are lots of pop hooks. For the most part, the Inspirators need to toughen up their sound to get these songs to hit harder. (Independent)