Long Beach Dub Allstars Right Back

When Sublime front man Brad Nowell died of a drug overdose in 1996 it seemed like the end for a band whose career had just begun to take off. With the release of Right Back, Sublime members Bud Gaugh (drums) and Eric Wilson (bass), have recreated Sublime’s sound (with even more of a reggae influence) as the Long Beach Dub Allstars. Gaugh and Wilson are joined by Marshall Goodman and Jack Manness, on turntables and keyboards respectively, both of whom appeared regularly on Sublime recordings. Filling the enormous gap created by Nowell’s death are guitarist/vocalist Ras 1 and Opie Oritz who was previously known for designing the Sublime album covers and the band’s numerous tattoos. Both singers manage to do a pretty good job of imitating Nowell’s unique vocal style. The Allstars have been playing reggae-influenced music in assorted bands for years, and even if they do gain popularity it’s very unlikely they’ll change their sound anytime soon. Some of the highlights of the album are the guest appearances by such reggae luminaries as Barington Levy, Half Pint, Tippa Irie, and HR of Bad Brains. “Saw Red” is the only Sublime song on this CD, but many of the tracks have that familiar sound. “Rosarito” brings Sublime’s hit “Santeria” to mind and “Fugazi” and “Sensi” are vaguely reminiscent of “Get Ready.” Eric Wilson’s bass lines and the background scratching provided by “The Field Marshall” (Goodman) will make you feel the need to pop in your old recordings of 40 Oz. To Freedom or Robbin’ The Hood. The only track I didn’t really like is “Kick Down,” which features guest rapper Dangr. In the end, even that song turns out well, with excellent vocal interplay between Opie Oritz and the MC. (Dreamworks)