The Upsetters

Eastwood Rides Again

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At the first listen to Eastwood Rides Again, some might be disappointed that the songs aren't reworkings of Ennio Morricone western theme songs. The album artwork gives every indication that the tracks will pull their influence from old-time westerns. Eastwood Rides Again doesn't take western themes as a primary influence, but instead draws on funk and rhythm and blues. The mixture of Lee Perry production and at times pure American funk lead to great results. That unique Perry percussion lurking underneath all of the tracks keep them from just being straight rhythm and blues or funk tracks. The tracks may be too straightforward to fans of later Perry productions, but the songs are tight and funky. The only washes of reverb come at the beginning when Perry announces the album. After that, the only dub effects come in a weird sound effect in Eastwood Rides Again that sounds like a mobile phone and in pops and screams in "Django (Old Man River)." The album is a fantastic collection of instrumentals that show that some of the best rhythm and blues was coming from Jamaica. It makes a strong case for the supremacy of the Jamaican sound. The B-side of the vinyl pressing beginning on track eight equals or surpasses the Upsetters American influences. After listening to the rhythm of "Red Hot," it is hard to doubt the power of an Upsetters instrumental. Eastwood Rides Again gives a few false impressions and is not always what is expected from the Upsetters, but it fits nicely as another gem in their catalog.

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