Bedouin Soundclash Root Fire

If I were writing this review based on the first two songs, I would be telling everyone that Root Fire by these Kingston (Ontario, not Jamaica) four-piece dub-heads is a must-own album. As it stands, however, I'm telling reggae fans that this is definitely an album worth picking up. The album starts off with a clip of David Rodigan espousing the history of Jamaican music, which shows that the band doesn't just know the past of the music they play but the present. The two songs that follow are incredible mixes of dub, reggae and jazz, which tempts the listener with the songwriting skills and strong playing of the band. That's not to say that the songs that follow aren't good - I'd say that they are better than most - it's just that the tantalising beginning sets the bar so high. Regardless, Bedouin Soundclash certainly knows how to create a strong tune, and their seamless inclusion of parts of "Money," by Pink Floyd, in a laidback reggae song certainly showcases that ability. Their lyrics fit the style of music they play as well; you won't find any odes to the finer qualities of beer here. The vocals have a definite English vibe to them and many of the songs seem UK-influenced. All in all, Roots Fire is one of the best debut albums I've heard lately, and with this album as their launching pad, I can't wait to see what this band has in store for the future. (Stomp)