words by Craig Mertes
The Dub Trio blends noise metal riffs with dub-based detours. These two genres don’t initially spark thoughts of crossovers, and it takes the deft musicianship of the three members of the Dub Trio to pull it off. However, the Dub Trio doesn’t mash dub with metal, rather they seamlessly transition between one to the other and back again. At their best moments, they do so within the same song.
A week ago, the Dub Trio dropped their fourth full-length album of new music on ROIR Records, appropriately titled, IV. On the Dub Trio’s most recent album, Another Sound is Dying, the band was definitely leaning more towards their metal roots than their dub ones, although there was plenty of time devoted to tripped-out dub beats to keep the listener happy. IV continues the trend of devoting more time to the crunchy metal chord progressions than to beeps, blips and echo-laden drum beats. In fact, it isn’t until the fourth song “Control Issues Controlling Your Mind” (listen, above), that the first dub breakdown appears.
The quirky, jittery, “Ends Justify the Means” is completely devoted to the dub aesthetic and follows. The eight minute long, dynamic “Words” is the Dub Trio at their finest, leading off with crunchy guitars working through multiple chord progressions before slowing down and turning into a glitchy dream. Eventually, the guitars come back in a wash of distortion before fading out. The rest of the album works in typical Dub Trio fashion of working metal-based chord progressions in and out of dub interludes. Ultimately, the solely-metal based songs lack enough melody to leave lasting impressions, and it’s when the Dub Trio mix their metal punch with dub spaceouts that they do their best work. The first half of the album is a full-fledged metal workout while the second half delivers the real good mixing of the best of both worlds.