Pay the Piper
If you have even a passing interest in roots reggae, the mere mention of Israel Vibration above would surely stop you in your tracks. And for good reason: Veterans Wiss and Skelly are back with what could be considered their most diverse and — dare I say — best release?!?
There are several reasons for making this bold proclamation. I highly recommend you listen for yourself or first consider the following: Israel Vibration has once again teamed with the incredible talent of the Roots Radics, who can carry an album in their own right. They have incorporated traditional ska tracks (“Pay the Piper,” “Exploitation,” etc.), which I found an awesome diversion — plus the tunes are fabulous! Tracks like “Original Soldiers” and “Nuttin’ Nah Bruk” continue the roots and culture in the Israel Vibration vein. However, “Get Up & Go” along with “Hard Road” incorporate more horns and catchy hooks than many past releases. Perhaps this variety is a result of their first endeavor into self-production. Whatever the formula, Pay the Piper is incredible! I knew this album was magic when I noticed there is a song entitled “Surfin’.” I then became aware the “ocean” was a waterbed and the “board” a girl — “Surf with Love, ride me Baby.” Another point of interest is the inclusion of a “hidden” track (#13). I believed this to be a trick usually reserved for the “alternative” scene, but hey, I’ll take it! You get to wind down the experience with about five minutes of mellow dub jams. Irie through and through….
RAS Records, P.O. Box 42517, Washington, DC 20015