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Local Revolution’s debut album is a demonstration of reggae funk mastery, and will keep you moving from the first note of its opening title track. Whether bouncing to the textbook skank of Up And Down, or grooving to the upbeat Apartheid, this record is a just-press-play party.
With genre-appropriate, socially conscious lyrics, a sharp horn section, an enviably virtuosic rhythm section, and songs that demonstrate musical range and songwriting chops, there’s just not much this group can’t do.
There’s a particularly tasty breakdown in The Gift with accompanying sax solo that is a bit of a show-stopper… like a sunset interlude where some lovely music can make one forget what was going on, and then the rhythm returns. Moments like this are scattered throughout Gentle Warrior, and distinguish it from being just another reggae record, elevating it to more of an exemplar of the genre.
Other highlights include the hand drum and harmony-laden African joy of Mandela, the relaxed acoustic funk of Wasi Wayo, and the propulsive album closer, Rise Up, which sounds like it doubles as a wicked set opener with its refrain of “Get down, Revolution’s here now… You got to make sound, you got to rise up!”
Another positive aspect is how directly this record plays… to the ear, it’s the sound of a well-oiled machine just knocking out tracks in front of microphones, like a live show captured in a studio, with a very light touch in terms of mixing; there’s no filter or studio magic here, just musical magic, which is as it should be.
Having caught a bit of their set at this year’s Vegan Festival, I can’t say that I’m too surprised, as my initial reaction upon hearing them was that it sounds like there’s a first-rate reggae act in town. It’s a real pleasure to learn that they’re locals and they have a great record that is a credit to themselves and Adelaide.
Local Revolution launch Gentle Warrior at Governor Hindmarsh on Sat 1 Aug.
Book at OzTix at thegov.oztix.com.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.