Dufus- Ball of Design
Dub Trio - Exploring the Dangers of

[ROIR, www.roir-usa.com]

When I found out the NYC-based ROIR label was still alive and pumping great music, I nearly peed my pants for joy. The label did after all introduce the world to Bad Brains, a band I have stupendous amounts of respect for. Then again, that's in the past. Let's see what the future holds.

Dufus is a collective of neo-hippies, pissed-off anti-everythings who throw us their latest release 'Ball of Design'. When I said pissed-off, I meant pissed-off but with a thick sense of quirky humour. Imagine a more political Frank Zappa [was Frank ever not political?] or a smarter hard rock band [then the ones you're used to seeing on TV] and you'll get some of the precepts of this ensemble. Smartly written songs on all sorts of subject permeate the record. Dangers of radiation are tackled on 'Radiation', today's youth [though with minimal lyrics] on 'Kids' and the state of freedom in today's world on 'Freedom'. Nonetheless, some of the finer moments come through in Dufus' off-the-wall humour. The rhapsodic 'Deemon' is a particularly good example of their sing-along mentality. While a strong folk mentality [or singer-songwriter syndrome as others like to call it] pokes through in just about every tune here, there are also ferocious pop, rock and even metal elements all around. So, get on the bus you tired hippie, you wasted consumer junkie. I've heard the salvation and their name is 'Ball of Design'.

A note taken from Dub Trio's own web-site [www.dubtrio.com]: '06.04.05 - so.......bad news for Canadians and Hooray for Americans. Dub Trio will not be playing the two Canadian shows on our upcoming June tour (we think it had something to do the fact that our music steadys itself around 100 hertz and I guess there are laws about that kind of thing in Canada).' This note alone encapsulates the spirit of Dub Trio's music. In a nutshell, it's truly massive. The trio love to spew out purely instrumental dubs ' dubs that they give birth to in the studio [with copious amounts of effects] and then recreate live on stage. [which is why I was pissed off they didn't make it up to Canada for their gigs!] Drummer Joe Tomino, guitarist D.P. Holmes and bassist Stu Brooks have a tendency to favour large, chamber-like effects that give their dubs a warm feel. What's better yet is the mix is not overtly clean. You can still hear the dirt and grime right around the edges. [Check out the scruffiness and reverb at the tail end of 'Sick Im Kid'] Most importantly, their dubs are highly infectious. I guess the only down-side on a personal level is that some of the pieces could have had stronger effect had they been stretched out somewhat. Otherwise, 'Exploring the Dangers of' is a fine example of where dub should be today. Looking back through history and keeping their minds focused on the future, Dub Trio leave an echo in my brain.

Tom Sekowski

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