Equalizer Rise

Rise is the debut CD from this reggae band, which hails from Montreal and, unfortunately, it will be their only one, as the band played their farewell show on April 6. Rise is interesting and explores many aspects under the reggae spectrum, dabbling with dancehall, ska, dub and also incorporating outside influences. The band's sailing horns (sax and trumpet) add an upbeat tone to the music, and their solos give some songs a jazz-like feel over the reggae groove. However, the thing that made this CD stick out was the vocals, as they were melodic, soulful and surprisingly relevant to the music for a band from Montreal, especially on the acoustic song "Such a Day." Rise is a strong CD, in terms of musicianship and sound, and will appeal to fans of UK-style reggae, it's unfortunate that the band will not be creating a sophomore effort. (Independent)