Sublime With Rome

Sirens

Written by: PP on 22/11/2015 20:01:40

Four years separated from their reunion album of sorts, "Yours Truly", Sublime With Rome are ready with their next album "Sirens". This is arguably the album where we'll find out whether Rome's replacement of late Bradley Nowell has any impact on their overall sound, because at least on paper, the pressure and fan expectations of the reunion album are gone and replaced with a freedom to concentrate on writing the album that defines Sublime post-Bradley era. "Yours Truly" was a safe album in that sense, because it was essentially impossible to hear a difference between their 90s output and the new album given how closely Rome pays tribute to Nowell's seminal work with the band. It was also a great album that effectively absolved the band in the eyes of their older fans, so for "Sirens", the band should be free to try something else.

Instead, "Sirens" feels like an attempt to replicate their classic self-titled album. It's a ska/reggae fusion record at its core just like its inspiration and features several excursions into genres and styles normally far separated from ska/reggae's chilled out sound. Metal, punk and even hard rock are explored on the second half of "Sirens", echoing the same ethos as "Sublime" did with the metallic punk rock tracks that stood in stark contrast to the relaxing ska rhythms. "Best Of Me", for instance, features discordant riffs and screeching vocal distortion delivered with a fury comparable to Keith Morris in OFF!. Similarly, "Run And Hide" sounds like something Body Count could've written.

Some extra experimentation is present, too. "Sirens", for instance, features a rapped chorus by Dirty Heads, which fits the soundscape surprisingly well. "Brazilia" meets head on with pop-rock realm, sounding like a skafied version of Coldplay from "Mylo Xyloto"-era. "Skankin'", on the other hand, is ska punk at its best, echoing Big D And The Kids Table in its uptempo approach.

The majority of songs, however, are still best described as danceably sexy, as the silky smooth vocals of Rome guide us through funky bass lines and chill ska guitars in the process. So in that sense, "Sirens" is pretty much exactly the album you'd expect to hear from Sublime. And it's a good record. But much like "Yours Truly" before it, comparing it side-by-side with either "Sublime" or "40oz. To Freedom" makes it evidently clear that those albums are in a different league. That said, "Sirens" is a positive surprise because it avoids the sophomore slump if you can call it that in their case.

Download: House party, Sirens, Been Losing Sleep, Skankin'
For the fans of: 311, The Aggrolites, Pepper,
Listen: Facebook

Release date 17.07.2015
BMG

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