A collision of ragga and punk, shot through with steely metallic guitar, Dub War emerged in 1994 as a high-octane, highly political extension of hard rock’s new-found ability to merge innovative styles with the old. Formed in Newport, Wales, in 1993, the four-piece comprises Jeff Rose (guitar), Richie Glover (bass), Martin Ford (drums) and Benji (vocals), all of whom came from diverse musical backgrounds. Glover had played in several minor punk bands, while Benji’s apprenticeship came in reggae dancehalls, and he had previously worked with Mad Professor. The band made its debut at the end of 1993 with a self-titled 12-inch EP that managed simultaneously to appear in three different New Musical Express charts - the ‘Vibes’, ‘Turn Ons’ and ‘Hardcore’ listings. Following a debut mini-album in 1994, they switched to Earache Records for the Mental EP, joining Pop Will Eat Itself and Manic Street Preachers on touring engagements. Mental featured remixes from Senser, Brand New Heavies and Jamiroquai, and was followed by a further EP, Gorrit. Their first full album came in February 1995 with Pain, by which time the band had established a strong live following to augment their press profile. Fans were rewarded by the uniformly excellent Wrong Side Of Beautiful, which was later re-released in a new limited edition version with a six-track CD of remixes, Right Side Of Beautiful. The album failed to provide the breakthrough the band deserved, however, and ultimately led to their demise two years later. Benji teamed up with Infectious Grooves bass player Rob Trujillo in Mass Mental, and also formed Skindred.
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