Following up last year’s country/Americana album “Bright Days”, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad flips the switch back to reggae with “Make It Better”.
From the first song on the album in which it takes its name from, “Make It Better” shows that the Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad haven’t lost their reggae chops. The track is an upbeat, vocal and horn heavy gem that sets the mood for a smooth and soulful reggae album. This trend continues on throughout the course of 37+ minutes of roots reggae bliss. There truly isn’t a weak link throughout the entirety of “Make It Better”.
“Make It Better” is not just another roots reggae tribute. GPGDS find themselves weaving in a modern flair where they see fit. They also let some of their other influences show with a touch of jam music here or a funk snippet there all without disrupting the flow of their reggae sound. They also pull from many reggae sub-genres with some dub and dancehall sounds finding their way into some tracks.
Sometimes when bands try to mix too much into the pot they mess up the soup, but with Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad the soup is more like a fine musical cuisine. Strong songwriting and top-notch musical craftsmanship just doesn’t leave any room for boring, sub-par songs. “Make It Better” is one of the most soulful reggae albums that I’ve heard in recent memory. It’s not often that you get a catchy reggae track stuck in your head, but you’ll find that happening often with this album. “Make It Better” will most likely get repeat listens once it’s in your playlist.
Bottom Line: A neo-traditionalist roots reggae album with many solid, catchy tracks.
Notable Tracks: Make It Better, Live And Travel, Gotta Make A Living, Greatest Of Days