This new single from six-piece Leicester band By the Rivers kicks off with ‘Take Control’ in its light reggae treatment – vocals up-front with the instrumentation supporting rather than dominating, while the lyrics of political alienation mirror those of another Midlands ghost town a generation ago. The ‘radio riddle remix’ of the same song follows, courtesy of the Fun Lovin’ Criminals extra-curricula production project, and this is indeed a bit of a revelation. With a different bass track and a heavier rhythm section altogether, the brass is mixed further back into an assertive dub-leaning production – this highly impressive contemporary roots handling of the song deserves to be widely heard beyond the band’s existing audience. The third and final track, ‘Don’t Stand Alone’, has an acoustic folksy reggae-light style. It would be interesting to hear it in a similarly reconstructed style…

The clip featured here is a stripped-down acoustic version of ‘Take Control’ from last year.

By the Rivers: Take Control: Kompyla Records, CD/DDL, release 21st January 2013

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