Many a tribute band and even more tribute albums have come and gone without leaving as much as a skid mark. However, the Easy Star Allstars’ dub projects are far from forgettable.
It all started with their Dub Side of the Moon breakout effort. Then they again found extreme success with Radiodread. This time, they’ve taken on The Beatles and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It is a completely on-point dub album, filled with covers of great Beatles tunes and chock-full of guest appearances. Junior Jazz joins in on “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” offering a great rendition of the classic rock and roll song. With the help of reggae great Luciano they nail a “With A Little Help From My Friends.” Grooving bass lines, tasty vocals and the perfect mixture of guitar and reverb makes this a standout track, and one of the more interesting readings of this song ever recorded.
“Getting Better” featuring the Mighty Diamonds, dare I say, may sound better than The Beatles, especially after enduring the commercialization of the song through (insert corporate America ad campaign here). A little ska vibe adds to the mix on “She’s Leaving Home,” enhanced by the ravishing vocals by Kirsty Rock. Matisyahu, perhaps the most notable guest, joins in for a psychedelic “Within You Without You.
There are many notable highlights to this effort; there’ss a ton of fun in “When I’m Sixty-Four” featuring Sugar Minott, and “Good Morning, Good Morning” featuring the iconic Steel Pulse. Then the album reprises with “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” in very danceable club mix. Whlie listening, you almost taste a rum punch and feel the bass of the reggaeton club thumping through your skull.
Once again, the Easy Star Allstars have delivered a fully original effort using someone else’s music. But rather than covering the music, the band restructures it for a personal take on the life of the islands. Grab this one before you head on that Caribbean vacation or the trip down to the beach in Florida. I guarantee it will become the soundtrack to your trip.
Easy Dub Star’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is out now on Easy Star Records.