The Aggrolites

The Aggrolites play ska, the Sixties rhythm that gave birth to reggae, with a hard-core dedication to the style that's amazing. They capture the archetypal feel of the Upsetters and Skatalites while putting their own unique stamp on the music. They've earned props from Prince Buster, who said they play his music as well as the studio session cats who backed him on his original hits. These nineteen tracks will give longtime fans a flash of déjà vu, but anyone who likes tough riddims and sharp musicianship will dig it. "The Volcano" bubbles with the echo-heavy organ of Roger Rivas and the shouted asides of the bandmates. "Funky Fire" drops a bit of Memphis soul into the mix, "Heavier than Lead" conjures up the spirit of Toots and the Maytals at their youthful best, and "5 Deadly Venoms" shows off Jesse Wagner's clanging guitar playing a twang-heavy mix of surf 'n' ska.

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J. Poet