Infantry Rockers Boombala

Dave Park (aka "Dub Insurgent”) is the man in charge of Infantry Rockers. The mix of dub, dancehall, Colombian and Tex-Mex sounds on Boombala is not unusual in itself, though the fact that it originates from Madison, Wisconsin raises an eyebrow. More than anything though, it’s telling that this record doesn’t sound all that different from a project originating from Central or South America, or New York, for that matter. The disc starts in a more pronounced Latin style, with a cumbia shuffle holding sway for the first four tracks, the highlight of which is "La Policia.” As one might expect from such titles (and the fact that Park is swaddled guerrilla-style on the album cover), the politics are strident. Yet there’s nothing super-distinctive about the lyrics or the vocals — and there should be, considering the subject matter. There is a generic dancehall flow to many of the vocals. Dub takes over the last two thirds of the album, with Santana-esque guitars and occasional montuno keyboards providing accents. This is where Infantry Rockers are at their best, with a clear, bass-heavy mix that emphasises space. This album will keep the party going but won’t take it to another level. (Revolucion)