Well Charged Rukkus

This is reggae music in a true Canadian style. Jamaican-born Winston "King" Cole fronted several prominent bands in Kingston during the ’60s including People's Choice Band, which brought reggae to Canada at Montreal's Expo ’67. Cole has gathered around him a group of much younger musicians and has passed the riddim chalice among them, with instruction in all things irie. Rukkus is Well Charged's second release and finds the band well rooted in the vintage sounds of Jamaica, but only to a certain extent. In fact the strength of Rukkus is that it does not attempt to recreate any sort of reggae heyday. Instead Cole and band have concocted an indie Canadian version; elements of rock and roll are there to be sure, but they never overpower the reggae, dancehall, rocksteady and ska. "How Come" grooves like a latter day "Crazy Baldheads" and "Legalise the Herb" is at once polemic and dance-ready. Organs, a horn section, and even tablas make Rukkus a big sounding album and bassist Jake Janzen's production is dubwise — anchored but trippy when needed. (Independent)