Sound: Ipecac Recordings' Dub Trio might still be under the radar going into it's 3rd record, but the instrumental-driven group will hopefully get it's share of listeners with the latest release Another Sound Is Dying. You might call these guys the Chemical Brothers of the dub-metal world, with each song skillfully written and never having to rely on vocals. The arrangements are strong enough (and often strange enough) to stand on their own, and more importantly, there are more than a few tracks on the CD that rock a lot harder than many of the traditional metal bands out today.
The opening track Not For Nothing immediately draws you in with it's grooving lead riff. Throughout the entire track you hear Stu Brook's thick bass line, which stands out prominently amidst the experimental sounds coming from DP Holmes' guitar. This is one of the tracks on the record in which the Dub Trio never goes overboard with the experimentation, and a solid melody is maintained throughout. Not For Nothing has some very cool dark undertones that almost venture somewhere between Danzig and Mr. Bungle, and it's that kind of dramatic sound that really starts the CD out the right way.
Speaking of Mr. Bungle, perhaps not surprisingly Mike Patton (also on the Ipecac label) offers his guest vocals on the track No Flag. The track starts out pretty low-key with what sounds like an unamplified guitar being continuously strummed. Patton comes in not long after, with a series of whispered lines that lead into an electric, Black Sabbath-type section in the track. Of course, Patton is involved, which means that No Flag doesn't stop there -- it takes some very odd, yet cool turns along the way. The track is easily the most experimental on the record, thanks to Patton's diversified, manic vocals.
Bay Vs. Leonard showcases the dub-rock sound that is associated with the band, but only slightly. Although a reggae-esque feel to the chords is present, there are so many space-age type effects that pop up that the dub style becomes secondary. While it's not the most interesting track on the CD, Bay Vs. Leonard is still impressive because of the strong musicianship. // 8
Lyrics: As was mentioned earlier, the Dub Trio isn't really known for their lyrics because, well, they don't usually have any. // 8
Overall Impression: Between the heavy, Les Claypool-like bass lines and the sonic guitar effects, the Dub Trio has a very memorable sound. The group bounces between being a straightforward rock band (Regression Line) to dub reggae (Agonist) to just downright strange (Funishment), and it's fascinating to see how often they can reinvent themselves. You get a lot of different styles on Another Sound Is Dying, and the title of the album couldn't be more apt. Strange, exotic sounds do come and go throughout the record, and it will take more than a few listens to actually digest everything that's going on in each song. This may be too trying on some ears out there, but if you're up for something that pushes the usual boundaries, the Dub Trio will be a godsend. // 8