This Will Be The Best Reggae Album of 2013!

First post of 2013! ONLY took me TEN days to get to it. I’ve got some plans cookin to make this site even better and full of info for all you Skinheads, Rudeboys, Ska & Reggae lovers out there.

I thought I’d kick off the new year with a prognostication. I’m gonna tell you right now what I think will be the best album of the whole year will be. We can all look back next year and see if I’m right or not, maybe even have a laugh, but either way you’ll get some enjoyment.

So far I don’t see anything in my crystal ball that might be coming out that will be better than the album I’m going to tell you about. Now that might all change of course. I can’t know everything that’s scheduled to come out this year but I’m sure it’s gonna be hard to find anything better.

You probably already know what I’m gonna say if you’ve been reading this site for any amount of time. You could even say it’s the easy go to choice as they are head and shoulders above everyone else hitting the stage today. It really is but don’t let that fool you because the album stands as a classic in the making all the way.

Every player on the album is a seasoned veteran of the musical trenches by this point having been involved in big and small projects alike for years. So it shouldn’t shock anyone that when they put their hive mind together and decide to make some music that it’s just the wickedest crate digging soul reggae on the planet. That’s what we thought when we first heard about them back in 2008 anyway!

The band is of course The Lions and the album is their new, about to drop, collection This Generation on Stones’ Throw Records.

The Lions This GenerationThe five year’s in the making follow-up to thier debut Jungle Struttin’ on Ubiquity Records is full of the best harmonies from any band today with four distinct vocals coalescing into one sweet soulful voice and how could it not right.

With the masterful delivery of Alex Desert and Deston Berry (Members of the legendary ska band Hepcat) along with the Falsetto of Malik Moore (Ocean 11) upfront and the firecracker chants of Black Shakespeare (the charismatic cousin of Robbie Shakespeare of Sly & Robbie fame and co-runner of the i&i Sound System, a customized ice cream sound system van, featured on the album cover) there is no hope for the masses that gather in front of them at shows to do anything other than dance to the music and lose their minds.

The LionsThe arrangements on the album are super tight as can be expected and there was real thought put into lyrical content and crafting a superior musical bedrock for the delivery of them. They stand head and shoulders above everyone else in that department.

However don’t overlook the gang playing behind this soothing sonic assault as anything less than lethal in their own right. These guys know how to devise a rhythm that both cradles the vocal delivery allowing that magic to work it’s way into your brain while standing firmly on it’s own. They include Steve “Curly Locks” Kaye (Orgone, Fitz & The Tantrums), Dan “Connie Price” Ubick (De La Soul, Breakestra), Devin Morrison (The Expanders), Dave Wilder (Macy Gray, Norah Jones, Brett Dennen, Everlast, Liz Phair), Blake Colie (Salvador Santana, Leonard Dillon, The Maytones), Davey Chegwidden (Rhythm Roots All Stars, De La Soul, Black Eyed Peas), Eddie Felix (Eddie Palmieri, Chris Dowd from Fishbone) and David Ralicke (Beck, Dengue Fever, Jump With Joey). How’s that for a powerhouse foundation?

MEET THE LIONS!

Dan Ubrick (an all around cool cat) had this to say about the album “All the guys in The Lions grew up on classic Jamaican records so since we began we have wanted to give our records that same edge and roughness that we grew up hearing on LPs by The Upsetters, Soul Syndicate, The Rockers Band and Roots Radics. The rhythm section was all recorded to tape, the Hammond buzzed a little, fuses blew and good mistakes were left in. We basically made the dusty reggae soul LP WE have been wanting to hear for years.”

The album features 12 tracks including a cover of the Reggae classic “Picture On The Wall” with guest vocals by none other than original Jamaican singer of The Heptones Leroy Sibbles!

Leroy SibblesIn the interest of full disclosure I was in studio with the band when the recorded Picture on the Wall with Mr. Sibbles but I had not heard the rest of the album til just recently.

Sample the tracks on the album at the Stones’ Throw website or learn more about the band from this in-depth interview with Dan that’s well worth your time to read. You can also keep in touch with them via Facebook.

Here is the video for the title track off the album which you might notice some special guests!

This Generation will be available February 26 on CD/ Digital with a 8 record vinyl box set dropping in just 18 days on Jan. 28th! It includes FOUR dub versions by Steve “Curly Locks” Kaye that aren’t on the CD!!

This will be the best album to be released in 2013 hands down. What do you think?

I've been involved in the Los Angeles music scene since at least 1995 going to shows, promoting, spinning records and running labels. Ska and Early Reggae are my passion among other things of course.