Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Reggae Review: Dandy / By The Rivers / Dawn Penn

'Suzanne Beware of The Devil' has always been one of my favourite reggae songs. The iconic opening sends shivers down my spine as the layered vocals set my heart racing. The simple bass riff plays with the lead guitar as the rhythm plays in typical reggae fashion with the light barre chords. The track is magnificent and features some lovely bridge segments. It's hard to find a song so lyrically contagious and incredibly addictive musically. The lyrics were written by Dandy and it was released in 1972 on Trojan records. It charted high in the UK and Dandy found a new audience as the 2-Tone scene began to erupt. Last year, Dandy came out of obscurity to play a festival in London. I'm hoping he continues touring his aged material. Listen to Suzanne Beware of The Devil here.

I have been backing By The Rivers for the past 18 months. Since that first show in Leicester (where the definition of close proximity was re-written). So the track at hand is called 'Vulture', which is a brilliant rebellious modern Reggae song. The chorus is highly noticeable with the vocal layers. Eventually the verse shows a nice little lyrical piece before the instrumental turned dub and the mood changes completely. The listener will hear some fantastic guitar work and respective bass. The effects kick in as the sparse percussion shines bright. Then the barre chords enter with the brass section to close of a great track. This is By The Rivers second EP and showcases further modern Reggae material. It was releases in 2011 and is available on their bandcamp here 

Dawn Penn has been touring consistently since the mid nineties destroying audiences for 90% of her set before breaking into the 1994 re-released and edited song 'You Don't Love Me (No, No, No)'. The vocals strike out and the lyrics just bring a lovely lyrical theme into the music. The bass riff is absolutely amazing and sets the tone and structure for the son. I completely admire the remix and the horn section which shines towards the final third of the track. As the song draws to close Dawn Penn sings her stylistic lyrics over and over creating a brilliant sounding rocksteady song. The track fades out slowly and the general effect the song has on the general worldly population is insane. This track has been overplayed and overused, but it's always a stand out classic. Listen to it here.