One of the best rocksteady bands around has released another stellar album. It’s called Rockstone and it’s the follow-up to the excellent debut album Beware. Beware was an eye-opener and the same can be said for Rockstone.
What I love about Jr Thomas and the Volcanoes music is that it feels like it’s ripped right out of the 60s or 70s. It’s got that lo-fi, rootsy Jamaican sound that I like to hear. More and more bands seem to be going for that rocksteady sound these days like The Aggrolites, The Frightnrs, The Prizefighters and Jr. Thomas and the Volcanoes. The first track “What A Shame” is a smooth tune that mixes a bit of soul and obviously, rocksteady. It’s probably why I like rocksteady so much is that it combines soul and reggae, sometimes covering Motown and other soul songs too. Jr. Thomas’s vocals is what makes this band so great, but the backing band is excellent as well.
“Chin Up” is another tune that will make you fall in love with this band. Reminds me of a song The Slackers or Hepcat would do. It’s a short one but still memorable. The title track “Rockstone” is a slow one which just goes to show you how comfortable the band is with willing to try something like that. I really liked “2nd Time Around” because it has a flute on it. Anytime bands include a flute in a song, it stands out to me. There needs to be more flutes in reggae. The rest of the album is top notch as well.
Rockstone is a great follow-up to Beware, both excellent in their own ways. Rockstone seems like the band has ventured into different styles a little but it’s all smooth-sounding rocksteady in the end. If you don’t know about Jr. Thomas and The Volcanoes, well…you better!
Bottom Line: A great follow-up to their debut album Beware
Notable Tracks: What A Shame, Chin Up, Brian Wilson, 2nd Time Around