Record review: Dub Trio, “Another Sound Is Dying” (Ipecac)


I’ll tell you how much fun the new Dub Trio album is: While I listened, it did not once occur to me that I ought to be stoned.

Although “Another Sound Is Dying” may not drop you with the same freakish mickey as last year’s “Cool Out and Coexist,” where you just had to reel your tongue back into your cakehole after wondering how the hell they did that onstage (“Dying” isn’t live), the musicality is equal. And the Trio score extra points for plunging their sword hilt-deep into a whole different genre.

Which is instrumental metal. There’s Zep thud, Meshuggah spaz, Isis sludge, doomsday trudge, modrin thrash. And not some limpdick stuff-mount, either, but full-on grapple that shows full understanding of each.

Of course, Dub Trio are not about to quit after simply making a metal statement. They know the value of contrast, and set off each Teutonic haymaker with a slice from their post-Jamaica smorgasbord -- space dub, noise dub, subsonic dub. Guitarist DP Holmes’ riffs saturate like raw steak on a stack of tissue; bassist Stu Brooks has never gotten downer, sounding as if he wants to shake the very foundations of Hades. Drummer Joe Tomino is plain ridiculous, the way he knocks the beat backward and forward like some kind of 5D table-tennis match. (When I heard that little disco high-hat interval on “Jog On,” I laffed owt lowd.)

There’s nongenre stuff, too, like “Felicitation,” a symphonic shimmer-thing that builds and expands slowly along with clacking drums till it just decides to implode into a metal crunchdown. What’s “The Midnight Rider”? Some kind of nasty non-4/4 future-funk, I dunno. Sure ain’t no Allman Brothers.

Every track on this album dares to be great. I was a pussy before I tangled with Dub Trio, but they made me great too.

Dub Trio plays the Viper Room on Thursday, Valentine’s Day.