Easy Star Lonely Hearts Dub Band

From the New York band, with its fluid and illustrious membership, comes the latest in its series of reinventions of classic British rock albums. After Pink Floyd and Radiohead, the Easy Stars tackle the Beatles, and not only that, they cover in a roots style the peak (for many people) of the Beatles’ achievements, Sgt Pepper.

It’s impressive on an immediate level. The packaging is Sgt Pepper-era inspired, lovingly crafted in style and tone, although that familiar bass drum on the cover now seems to have acquired a marijuana leaf within its design. The music throughout features those background noises and crowd effects that were part of the feel of the Beatles’ album, and there is a remarkable attention to detail in referencing the past, although presumably without the need to use the primitive tapes and loops of the Abbey Road studio and its four-track machines of the 1960s. Continue Reading “Easy Star Lonely Hearts Dub Band”

Easy Stars All-Stars

With the impending release of a new album from New York’s Easy Star All Stars, it’s the right time to take stock of their unique take on reggae reinvention of classic rock albums. Has it all been a joke, and, if not, is it any good?

Thus far the Easy Stars have chosen two classic British albums, and peculiar ones too. Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ and Radiohead’s ‘OK Computer’ are not just British, they are very English, rooted in the heart of Cambridgeshire and Oxfordshire. This is the thoughtful sound of middle England, contemplative student rock from the 1970s and 1990s respectively. So what is an American East Coast reggae collective doing with this source material, and where has it taken it musically? Continue Reading “Easy Stars All-Stars”