U.S. pioneering reggae band John Brown’s Body have had their latest album Kings and Queens, released in 2013, turned into an anthemic dub set titled Kings and Queens in Dub.
All of the original album’s twelve tracks have been reworked, mainly by North American producers and engineers, including Dubfader, Jay “Double Tiger” Spaker, Michael Goldwasser, Dubmatix, Ticklah and Nate Silas Richardson. But on board is also Yesking from Wales, Lord Echo from New Zealand and UK reggae legend Dennis Bovell.
The result is a mesmerising and swirling set with echo-laid grooves and a dense sound complete with infectious vocal hooks, courtesy of new lead singer Elliot Martin, floating in and out of the mix.
The original King and Queens is a progressive and innovative reggae effort and the dub version expands the sound with new audio effects and heavier bass lines. Highlights include album opener People in the Light Dub with its slow groove and hypnotic bass lines, the thumping Sound and Fury Dub and the dark Fracture Dub with its fanfare-like horns and aggressive drums.
Kings and Queens in Dub is an another vital addition to John Brown Body’s expanding catalogue of dynamic reggae.
U.S. reggae pioneers John Brown’s Body’s new album Kings and Queens is the band’s first full-length album in five years, and just like its predecessor Amplify it debuted #1 on the Billboard Reggae Chart.
The album is the second set without Kevin Kinsella, one of the group’s founders. And former backing singer Elliot Martin now handles singing and songwriting and the result is a contemporary U.S. reggae album with dub-infused echo-laid grooves, poppy vocal hooks, startling horn lines and a dense, thick sound.
Elliot Martin has a strained, moaning and compelling singing style and his melodies are frustratingly infectious. On album opener Step Inside his voice is distorted and swirling around in the mix with a gripping result.
Some of the tracks lean towards rock music with power guitar and fast drum patters. Just listen to Invitation where it sounds like the drummer uses a double-kick-pedal, popular in harder forms of rock music.
John Brown’s Body has been around for close to two decades and has now dropped eight studio albums. But more importantly they’ve managed to evolve and update their sound and also been vital in putting U.S. reggae on the map.
Kings and Queens is now available now on LP, CD and digital platforms.