Boom Shaka


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Boom Shaka is a better than average American reggae band. Where too many of their compatriots sacrifice depth of groove for obvious hooks end up losing both dimensions in the process, the members of Boom Shaka never seem tempted to make that mistake; their songs always lope along at a cool, sedate tempo and the bassline is always the most interesting thing going on, which is just as it should be. The band's instrumentation is curious: three guitars, keys, bass, drums, and no horns. It works well for them though, and on songs like "Never Be Alone" and "Pieces of Africa" the multiple guitars create a pleasing, layered sound. Lead singer Trevy Felix's strong, jazzy delivery owes a debt to Steel Pulse's David Hinds, but stops short of being truly derivative; his vocals are a consistent high point on this album. Creation, the band's debut, was originally released on the Celluloid label's Moving Target subsidiary in 1988; the reissue on Candlestick adds previously unreleased dub versions of "Wicked Man," "Never Be Alone," and "Song for Jah." Recommended.

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