This 5-track 12” vinyl EP comes courtesy of Netherlands band Independent Intavenshan, based in Utrecht. This is the second release by the nine-piece band and is a fine reggae release in the vintage tradition of powerful roots music. Recorded in Utrecht, and pressed through a crowdfunding initiative, it brings us a brass-flavoured reggae sound along with some angry lyrics.
Opening with the title track, the defiant mood is set with a homage to reggae music itself, followed up with ‘Johnny Too Bad’ – not the familiar Slickers’ song, but another track entirely which seems critical of the idea of being ‘too bad’: ‘…sentenced as of birth, never got a chance’. The set closes with ‘Babylon’, gradually building to its ska-speed conclusion. Starting out as a ‘reggae studio project’, the band now has an established structure of nine members: the tight sound of a band playing together, rather than just a collection of individuals, comes over clearly on this EP.
The tone of this fine and timely release fits the political convulsions engulfing many parts of the world at the moment, not least in the UK, the US or in the Netherlands itself. Maybe music by itself can’t change all that but it can at least show where it stands – as Marley demonstrated all those years ago and bands like Independent Intavenshan confirm today.
Independent Intavenshan: Rub a Dub Emergency, released 2016