Cool Out and Coexist – Dub Trio, Rd. 2

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Dub Trio is primarily an instrumental metal group though the name might suggest otherwise. The connection with the classic Jamaican idiom has more to do with its studio manipulations than any style crossovers. Drummer Joe Tomino, bassist Stu Brooks, and guitarist D.P. Holmes write and record their music and then bring it to producer/engineer/honorary fourth member Joel Hamilton. At this point, they reconfigure the recorded material in the studio like true dub artists.

Although their brand of dub is essentially in their post-production approach, they successfully try their hand at summoning Jah in “Mortar Dub.” It could fit naturally into a set of Mad Professor and Lee Perry numbers. After Dub Trio takes you on this slight diversion, they return to ripping you a new one with “Regression Line.” This openness to 180-degree turns is just as present within the songs, which frequently turn on a dime.

A group of seasoned session musicians, Dub Trio can dazzle with instrumental prowess or tone it down slightly for a power groove. This mastery of musicianship combined with their familiarity and experimentations within multiple genres brings fresh and powerful interpretation back to metal, which is clearly their genre of choice. At times I’m curious to hear what they’d be like if they had a lead singer, but I’m simultaneously relieved they haven’t watered down their trudging power with a wailing falsetto.

The one rare appearance of vocals comes from the owner of their record label, Mike Patton. Patton is a kindred spirit, embracing and pulling off more genre bends than perhaps any other artist. His performance on “No Flag” is no exception where he takes you from a haunting whisper to an all out vocal shredder.

The title, Another Sound Is Dying, is a reference to the classic Tenor Saw dub track, “Ring The Alarm.” This inspiration perhaps best explains Dub Trio’s intentions. Brooks explains, “If you really think about the idea in that song, when you’re creating this thing that’s out there just destroying speakers, it’s actually pretty dark and aggressive. We loved that idea….” With Another Sound Is Dying, Dub Trio has taken on the noble task of destroying your speakers and opening your mind in the process.