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Album of the Year
on August 21, 2007
We've waited patiently well into August for this masterpiece, and now the year's best album is going worldwide. "Street Gospels" will appeal to you on a spiritual level without getting religious. There is no trace of pretension, only the pure and driving sounds of musicians mentally and musically aligned. Jay Malinowski's impassioned vocals, raw as gravel and somewhere on the scale between Joe Strummer and Bob Marley, are the fire burning under the smoking basslines from Eon Sinclair and tight percussion of Pat Pengelly (who is backed with percussion from Bad Brains legend Darryl Jenifer on "Trinco Dog" and "Hearts in the Night.") Jenifer produced "Sounding a Mosaic" in 2004, the Soundclash album that pounded through soundsystems such radical rebel music as "Shelter," "Shadow of a Man," "Jeb Rand," and "Criminal." Soon, interest developed in the band's first release, "Root Fire," available in the US as a Canadian import, which only further cemented the Soundclash credibility.
Also of note are the gripping paintings and collages on each album's insert, apparently more works of art from the mind of Malinowski, whose stage presence is also amazing. On Canada Day this summer, the band played a magical show in Kingston, Ontario, where the band originated. The full moon rose over Lake Ontario as the lights of Kingston rippled on the water, all while Bedouin Soundclash was thrilling the chilling crowd.
With three crucial albums on the market, Bedouin Soundclash should have more influence, as so many songs are certain hits, even harder-to-find B-sides like "Jeb Rand is Sailin' On," a Bad Brains/Soundclash collusion, as well as a sharp cover of U2's "New Years Day," added as a bonus to the Japanese release of "Mosaic." Careful fans of "Grey's Anatomy" will recognize "12:59 Lullaby," from "Street Gospels," the tenderest of songs. Get your hands on this music and spread it. Your friends will thank you.