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Free Love House

Dubtribe Sound System
Bryant Street
(Jive Electro/Imperial Dub)

For using the word "Dub" in their band name, as well as several songs ("Samba DUB" and "Loneliness In DUB") Dubtribe Sound System sure don't sound like what I'm used to. Maybe it's just me, but when I think of dub recordings, my mind tends to drift straight toward Mad Professor and the like. Instead, when I hear the music on Bryant Street, I'm thinking more along the veing of uplifting house music.

The disc starts out with the song, "Hasta Luego Mi Hermano," flavored with fairly standard soft beats and a flute sample that layers over the entire thing. There are a few little bits of conga drums and whatnot to flavor the mix, but it never really seems like it goes much of anywhere. The afformentioned "Samba DUB" (and no, I'm not adding the extra capitalization) starts out with more ethnic sounding hand-played drums before it again lopes into around a 100 BPM. The beats aren't too thumping, and even though there's an added acid line and vocal track, it doesn't give the track enough flavor to stand out from the first one.

Continuing the interesting drum sounds is the steel percussion at the beginning of the third track entitled, "No Puedo Estar Despierto." Once it gets going, it goes into more of a retro-sounding track with an almost disco beat and cheesy synth strings. The album goes in a bit of a different direction on the eighth track, "Ain't Gonna Do You No Good," as it takes off in sort of an electro funk direction. With a saxophone and more vocals, it still stays fairly in sync with the sound on the rest of the disc.

Basically, this is a disc for fans of the group or house-lite only. Even though the group is more house than dub, they still don't kick very many deep grooves, instead focusing on light melodies and fairly standard rhythyms. The songs all have an uplifting sound to them, but don't really have enough oomph to fuel a dancefloor. While the album is fairly cohesive and well constructed, there wasn't one track that stood out from the rest, and none that really perked up my ears. Boring

Rating: 3.5