The Jolly Llamas Dread City Rockers

The Jolly Llamas Dread City Rockers
Waterloo-based stalwarts the Jolly Llamas finally release a full-length that showcases great players reverently blending rock’n’roll and reggae with solid results. The Llamas earnest approach to music has seen them wear their hearts on their sleeves with no pretension. Passionate to say the least, they spend much time referring to a devotion to the hallmarks of reggae, ska, rocksteady and the like. What could be heavy-handed actually is a natural expression in the well-articulated lyrics of "Dub City,” "Dread Rockers” and "Ease Up.” Such numbers are a call-to-arms for, or a defence of, authentic reggae and its cultural affiliations. The political subtext becomes clearer on more general songs like "Information Cage” and "People Don’t Help People,” but it’s not all heavy philosophising. There’s playfulness in goofier fare like "Toast Coloured Girl” and "Bluffing Hand,” and the band’s vibe is a fun, positive one. (Independent)