Dubfreque Dubfrequency

Vancouver's reggae fusion band, Dubfreque, has released their debut album, Dubfrequency, after three years together. Setting out to explore all the facets of reggae, Dubfrequency not only incorporates ska, rocksteady, dancehall, dub and roots reggae into its sound, it also branches out to the worlds of hip-hop, hard rock, Cuban and cabaret. The band manages to balance its many shifts by keeping a solid reggae centre around which the other styles revolve. A version of Janis Joplin's hit "Piece of My Heart" was well spotted for its reggae potential and Bad Brains' "Rock For Light" makes for a nice album finisher. Andy Codrington's trombone leads the band in many of the instrumental and rootsier tracks, adding an early Specials feel to the album. Omolara Oyesiku (ex of the Afro Nubians) takes lead vocals on many of the songs but, even with her strong urban music credentials, something about her performance here isn't right. The rhyming structures are too obvious, the lyrics too pedestrian and the performance sounds like it would fit better on a Moxy Früvous album, making many of the songs come off like musical theatre meets reggae. (Independent)