Thursday, 17 October 2013

Review: Gentleman’s Dub Club – FOURtyFOUR (Ranking Records)

After another summer playing some of Europe’s more adventurous festivals, Gentleman’s Dub Club have polished and released their debut LP, FOURtyFOUR.

From the start, GDC’s gigs always brought an energy and vitality that demonstrated not only gifted ability but also a true enjoyment for performing to lively crowds. Two well-received EPs later, the debut LP shows a confidence and swagger that, when combined with slicker production, has delivered a fine piece of work to back up an outstanding live repertoire.

Opening track ‘Give It Away’ will feel familiar to those who have seen the nine-piece ska-fuelled, dub-driven band before. This is upbeat dub brought bang up to date. Showing variety, ‘More Than Words’ explores some different tempos and delicate vocals that calm before the storm of heavyweight dub tracks ‘Forward’ and the epic ‘Riot’. The dark moodiness of ‘Please Don’t Wait’ adds atmosphere and flirts with techy, house beats.

‘Riot’ not only offers an excellent dub track but also has a well worked visual accompaniment, with videos shot for the track by director Paul Bryan. The same goes for ‘Give It Away’, another video collaboration that adds to the enjoyment of a track, again by the same clearly gifted director.

This is a debut studio album on the back of years of live touring that have laid solid foundations. The raw swagger of earlier material remains and as a unit they continue to mature as connoisseurs and masters of their art. Although this is definitely an album to enjoy and savour, the band’s live shows are still the driving force, so do not miss them.

Words: Danny Doyle.

Gentleman’s Dub Club will perform at Mint Lounge on Monday 21st October.

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