The Rise of the Metallic Jah
In 2007, the three chefs of noise metal dub were rather busy. Dub Trio released the live album Cool Out and Coexist, then hit the studio with Another Sound is Dying, their follow up to The New Heavy from 2006. Not much has changed. Axeman D.P. Holmes, bassist Stuart Brooks and sticks wizard Joe Tomino still mix the heavy riffs and crunching drums of hard rock with the spacey, tripped out effects of dub reggae with top notch results.Cool Out and Coexist begins with the distant sound of a delayed guitar before thunderous snares erupt into “Angle of Acceptance.” Thus begins a shift in Dub Trio’s sound. Previously, it was the ethos of dub that reigned supreme with its amped up bass, trippy delays and echo effects. Here, bass is merely a guide through a labyrinth of time changes and metallic, devil-horned salute-inducing guitar riffs. The trio really get their rock on as they barrel through live performances of songs old and new like “Who Wants to Die?” from Another Sound is Dying and “Jack Bauer” and the title cut from New Heavy .
Dub Trio hasnâ€šÃ„Ã´t ditched the dub. Theyâ€šÃ„Ã´ve found ways to mix dub in rather than play it separate from their metal leanings. There are the pure dub compositions on Cool Out and Coexist like “Screaming At the Sea,” “Illegal Dub” and “Drive By Dub” where the cuts are augmented with a delayed guitar effect here and an echo effect there. Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s evident the band is so skilled, they can do it live.
Another Sound is Dying, Dub Trioâ€šÃ„Ã´s third installment, continues their tradition of consistency. The noticeable difference is that their skills purely as musicians are on display. While “Not For Nothing” and “Jog On” open with a one-two punch of familiarity â€šÃ„Ã¬ the trio’s seamless blend of metal and dub â€šÃ„Ã¬ things take an almost improvisational turn on the “Felicitation.” Huge riffs hearken back to early ’90s Melvins and completely drop out to a quiet cello that gradually builds only to mutate once more into spectral guitar crescendo. â€šÃ„ÃºAnother Sound is Dyingâ€šÃ„Ã¹ is full of these little surprises as well.
Through all the metallic heaviness and trippy dub, itâ€šÃ„Ã´s the odd, quiet and thunderous “No Flag” featuring a whispery, social commentary from Mike Patton thatâ€šÃ„Ã´s the eye of the album’s hurricane. Over a docile, jangly guitar he rasps “I’m from where you’re from / But we’re not friends” and later dons his patented roar for the “No flag to wave” chorus when the song erupts into riff-heavy chaos.
Another Sound is Dying is more than an extension of Dub Trioâ€šÃ„Ã´s previous work. Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s a testament to their skills and ability as session men, morphing and changing their style on a whim. Theyâ€šÃ„Ã´re flexing their muscles and showing off for their audience on their terms. Cool Out and Coexist adds further to their CV by proving they are wizards on stage as well as in the studio. Long may it continue.