Dread Kennedys

Dread Kennedys

In Dub We Trust

Invisible

I’m not quite sold on the purpose of this record. Was the world really crying out for dub versions of Dead Kennedys classics, a.k.a. an arty in-house joke from a label that has a habit of punching holes in anything they perceive as too “precious” in the music industry? Why was this record released? Because it was there, comes the answer. Much like the entire career of Pigface, an erratic whim. Speaking of Pigface, there they are with a bass-heavy cover of “Holiday in Cambodia.” That was unexpected, wink wink.

Much preferred, in this writer’s opinion, is Sheep on Drugs’ desensitized and depersonalized version of “California Über Alles.” Boasting breezy drum and bass every bit as smooth as Goldie (dated reference!), the lyrics are reduced to a tossed-off vocoder garble. Lovely. Meg Lee Chin’s seething take on “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” is probably the hidden gem of the record. Soon, we’re going to be arguing over who listened to her first. She’s just that damn good. Most unexpected contribution overall has to go to Phylr’s muted rendition of “Dead End.” Phylr skin the song alive, leaving just the paranoid core, and bolstering it with a minimal skeleton of opiated and fractured dub. Tricky would be jealous.

Moscow Machine Gun stay pure to the aesthetics of the tinny Casio dub plate soundsystem with their “Too Drunk to Fuck.” And I should probably know who 7000 Dying Rats are, but I’ll be damned if they didn’t turn “Jock-O-Rama” into the long-lost collaboration between Devo and Culture Club. Before I wrap this up, I should also mention that I quite enjoy TRS-80’s and the Truth’s contributions. In Dub We Trust is an arcane little prank from a record company with enough musical muscle on its roster to make the whole sham enjoyable and adventurous.

Invisible Records, P.O. Box 16008, Chicago, IL 60616; http://www.invisiblerecords.com

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