“The Big Smoke” is the second full length release from the UK reggae/dub group and their first since recently signing to Easy Star Records.
I’m going to flat out state that “The Big Smoke” is one smooth listen. Gentleman’s Dub Club has a traditional steady beat reggae and dub sound that fits right in with the Easy Star Records roster. I’m instantly reminded of the Easy Star All-Stars but thankfully with less Radiohead covers.
The album starts off with one of my favorite tracks “Music Is The Girl I Love”, a very catchy upbeat reggae tune with a soulful sound and some solid work from the horn section and ends on another solid track with “See Them”, a vocal-driven song with a simple reggae backbone reminiscent of later Bob Marley and the Wailers material.
Scattered throughout the other tracks on “The Big Smoke” you’ll discover a band that has influences seeped in everything from modern dancehall and dub to more traditional 70s era reggae. There are a few instrumentals sprinkled throughout (to my dismay) but overall there is a great effort by the band to throw all of those influences out on the table and give them each a turn in the spotlight.
If you’re a fan of bands such as the Easy Star All-Stars, the Skints or even traditional reggae such as Jimmy Cliff and Peter Tosh, then you owe it to yourself to add “The Big Smoke” to your collection. The upbeat sounds and sunny vibes will keep you warm through the frigid winter nights.
Bottom Line: Don’t let the name fool you. There may be dub in their name, but there is no dubstep to be found. Instead, what you’ll find is an homage to the multiple personalities that the reggae genre consists of. And you’ll also get one hell of a solid listen from start to finish.
Notable Tracks: Music Is The Girl I Love, See Them, Bad Girl, Earthquake