Disappointed by the new Dead 60s album? Me too. So do what I did: Buy Bedouin Soundclash’s new release instead!

Named after an album by Israeli fusion artist Badawi, this reggae/ska/punk band has a genuine Kingston pedigree. (Okay, it’s Kingston, Ontario, but whatever.) I’ve been a fan for several years now (since their “Root Fire” debut album), and I was most excited to get my hands on their newest group of songs. Although I can’t say “Street Gospels” reaches the fantastic level of their earlier two records, it’s got enough punky hypnotic riddim to please anyone who
wishes summer wasn’t over yet. In particular, Nico On The Nighttrain and Hearts In The Night stand out.

Street Gospels also treads new ground, though, focussing on spirituals–including an acappella version of the old traditional, “Hush (Somebody’s Calling My Name).” This is most successful on “Higher Ground,” but overall it gives the album a more serene feel than their earlier works. It’s mellower, kinder. If “Root Fire” was their straight up ska party record, “Sounding a Mosaic” showed their experimental side, moving into harder areas of dub and reggae. So it’s about right that they get a little quieter now. You won’t go wrong with the new album, and you’ll definitely go right getting either of their earlier records, too. Get the whole discography!

Highly recommended.

Jealousy and the Get Free (From “Street Gospels”)

12:59 Lullaby (From “Street Gospels”)

Rude Boy Don’t Cry (From “Sounding a Mosaic”)

Johnny Go To New York (from “Root Fire”). I dig this tune because of the Police vibe to it.

New Year’s Day (U2)/ Guns of Brixton (Clash) (live)


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