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The Greatest Blend of Punk, Ska, and Reggae Hands Down,
This review is from: 40 Oz to Freedom (Audio CD)
Like many bands between 1988-1996, or around that period, Sublime formed with something of an alternative stance like Green Day and Nirvana, though not to that extent. Sublime, like No Doubt, blended influences from Ska while maintaining a connecton to Punk. Like groups before them, such as the Clash and the Police, Sublime was heavily influenced by reggae, although to a greater extent than ever before for a punk band and it shows through on the group's debut, "40 Oz. to Freedom".
Each song is a classic, from the punchy ska-drenched songs like "Date Rape" to the nearly solid punk anthems like "New Thrash". What may shine through most, however, is Sublime's strong connection to reggae. The group even covers a number of reggae songs here, such as Bob Marley's "Smoke Two Joints," an excerpt of Marley's "Ride Natty Ride" in the song "D.Js". Also included is an acoustic cover of the Melodians' reggae classic "Rivers of Babylon" and the Toots & the Maytals super hit, "5446 Was My Number" in a medley with Sublime's own "Ball and Chain".
The greatest example of connection to reggae, however, may be their original numbers displaying the group's, particularly lead singer/guitarist Brad Nowell's passion for the Jamaican music in songs like "Badfish," "Live at E's," the title track "40 Oz. to Freedom," and my personal favorite, "Don't Push," where Nowell even sings about Bob Marley; a true testament to the influence of reggae on Nowell. On a few songs, there are even elements of Hip-hop.
Every song is a hit. This album shows why Sublime rose to the legendary status that they during their four short years, from 1992-1996, as a professional band until Brad Nowell's tragic death of a heroin overdoese. Any reggae, rock, punk, ska, or even rap and hip-hop fan will be blown away by Sublime's legendary work here, as all the diverse styles draw people together, and with the music here, it's easy to see why their infectious punk-reggae/ska music had such an effect. With "40 Oz. to Freedom," disappointment is not an option.