Israel Vibration


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Israel Vibration is one of the last of the many great reggae harmony groups that emerged in the 1970s, a period during which "cultural" (i.e., religious and political) messages and slow, minor-key melodies dominated the music. On Jericho, the group is reduced to a duo (Cecil "Skelly" Spence and Lacelle "Wiss" Bulgin), though they are still supported by the cream of Jamaica's studio crop, including Roots Radics bassist Earl "Flabba" Holt, drummer Sly Dunbar, and an all-star horn section comprised of Dean Fraser, Junior "Chico" Chin, and Nambo Robinson. As is always the case with Israel Vibration, the melodies tend to be a bit dry; there are no hooks to speak of, and while that may be intentional and fully in line with the group's social seriousness, it gets a little bit tiresome sometimes. "Gang Bang Slam" benefits from a great horn section, and "Trouble" is pretty singable. Among the more austere material, there's no denying the incantatory power of "Lost Souls." Recommended.

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