Meteorites

Dub the Mighty Dragon

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The Meteorites band name may lead you to expect some kind of neo-traditional ska. The Dub the Mighty Dragon album title may lead you to expect some kind of 1970s-revival instrumental reggae. The fact that they're from Germany may not help you form any kind of helpful expectations at all. Chances are pretty good, though, that the Meteorites' strange blend of N.E.R.D.-y, Neptunes-y, white-boy rap will take you by surprise no matter what preconceptions you bring to their first album. The beats are minimal but solid; the lyrics are clever, quirky, and surprisingly idiomatic; the more rockish grooves are Teutonic in more of a Trio sense than a Judas Priest sense (check out "Don't Wait," for example). The pervasive reggae influence that anyone would naturally expect is practically subliminal. "Meteorite," with its blocky electro-funk beat, sounds like classic old-school rap from the Grandmaster Flash days, while "Sunsystem" comes across as a sort of weird electro interpretation of vintage Doobie Brothers material. Not until "Number One" do you hear anything that sounds like an explicit nod to reggae tradition, and in that case it comes in the form of a modified dancehall stagger-beat. Kids under 18 will probably enjoy this, but it's the over-30 beat freaks that will get the most out of the Meteorites' subtle allusions and funky non-sequiturs. Recommended.

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