Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sublime - Sublime (Deluxe Edition)


Another example of the wide, wide distances that exist in this musical marriage.

Sublime are great at what they did, when they did it, but I find nothing in common with a bunch of SoCal surfer/skater/smoker dudes.  I've listened to this CD all the way through, twice, and occasionally I nod or tap in time.  I can't deny the voice of the late Bradley Nowell is beautiful.  The production's great and there aren't many songs that have me reaching for the skip button.

But it's just not my language they're talking.  I'm a child of the so-called second wave of ska (Specials, Madness, etc) and find this reggae/punk/ska hybrid at the same time vaguely familiar and yet unsettling.  Like all those songs I keep hearing in the gym that remake the good and bad songs of my youth, it's not quite what I was expecting - it doesn't quite deliver what I want.  I'm a Two-Tone girl at heart, really.

VERDICT: TURN IT DOWN (play it while I'm out, hon)


Oh come on...  I honestly though Mine would get why I love this band so much and fall in love with it too.  I mean, it's not a big ask.  Like her, I'm a fan of the second wave of ska as well so I don't understand why she doesn't like it as this has so many damned good ska flavours on it.  I guess there's just no pleasing some people.  And she calls herself a punk.  Hah!  (Okay, I think I've baited her enough.  I do have to sleep next to her and don't fancy waking up with my testicles nailed to the ceiling).  (Mine says: never called myself a punk never ever.  She's a mod She's a mod...) (YourZ sez: I stand corrected; she IS a mod)

Me and Sublime go way back to a time when I was a guitar-playing punk (of a sort) in a band of punks who shall collectively remain nameless (as they are now very respectable sell-outs, the bloody splitters!)  I was introduced to this band via a CD called 40 Ounces To Freedom.  A rambling, somewhat disjointed disc of 20 plus songs, this became the soundtrack for a number of wasted years.  These guys sounded like a cross between NOFX and The Specials, with a little bit of Marley and The Clash thrown in for good measure.  I adored them and wished hard for them to tour the other side of the world so I could see them live.

But the whole thing came crashing down when I heard about the death of Bradley Nowell, from a heroin overdose mere months before the release of this major-label debut.  In a lot of ways, this had a much more profound effect on me than the death of Kurt Cobain some years earlier mainly because I had (and still have) a bigger connection to their music than I ever did to grunge.  And it's telling that this band's style is still a reference point for a lot of newer, lesser bands (yes, Sugar Ray, in your case, much lesser).

I have such an attachment to this album, it's hard for me to pick out favourite tracks as they all pretty much inspire and delight me with every listen.  From the SoCal punk of Paddle Out, the authentic ska of Wrong Way, the cruisy, dubby sound of Caress Me Down, the sheer summery delight of What I Got and the fresh (at the time) hip hop stylings of Doin Time, there's literally something for just about everyone.

RIP Brad, you're still missed.


For more information:

In our collection we also have 40 Ounces To Freedom, Robbin' The Hood, Second Hand Smoke and What I Got EP

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