Saturday, February 7, 2009

Robb Blake - One Man Ska Explosion

2008 Do The Dog Music

The minute you see the album cover you'll be drawn in. Inspired by the classic Trojan Records Rocksteady Explosion album it boasts 14 highly explosive ska hits. But be warned, this is far different from the ska your mama grew up with . With that said you can't deny the passion and talent this one man act has.

From acoustic ska to some Sublime tinged rock reggae Robb Blake has a style all his own. Highlights for me came by way of tunes like "Easy Come Easy Go" with its scratches and pops from the vinyl background noise and that chilled out heavy bass line and one drop. Kinda reminds me of fellow UK act Ed Rome with a more rock reggae vibe. Then there's some nice upbeat ska with "The Fun Has Just Begun" and "Pick Yourself Up" with that darker bass tone and bounce. Just some fun danceable pulsing ska. And another is "If You Leave Me" with it's country music guitar licks and straight ahead feel good sound.

But other than these songs I was a bit let down by this release as it really does not live up to the title and superb artwork I was drawn in with. Even though I know Robb Blake's style I was hoping maybe he had taken a turn for some ska or rocksteady sounds you might hear on a Trojan Records album. No, not everyone has to sound like the originals to play solid music but please don't trick me like that.

Musically you can't deny it's quality but it does tend to get a little repetitive. I wish there was more acoustic tunes and an expansion on the sound of "Easy Come Easy Go."

Bottom line, if you like Sublime, Chris Murray, The Hotknives, or similar acts you will probably like Robb Blake's One Man Ska Explosion.

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