Reggae

Rockstone (CD)

With their sophomore LP Rockstone, Jr. Thomas & The Volcanos have created a throwback gem that sounds like it comes from the vaults, with the relevance and contemporary spirit of the modern era. Part of this timelessness is likely due to Tom McDowall's (aka Jr. Thomas) inspirations for the album. He has stated that Rockstone is more than a simple love letter to Jamaican roots music, it’s a love letter to family and friends, his wife, and his bandmates. That amount of tender care and devotion is evident in the album: the melodies never take a misstep, the lyrics are soulful and heartfelt, and the entire thing glistens like a jewel. It’s an album filled with gratitude and grace — not to mention some killer roots rock numbers.

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Everyday Life, Everyday People (CD)

Ocean Beach natives Slightly Stupid bring the sunny California vibes to their latest release, Everyday Life, Everyday People, and this time they've roped in a number of big guests to join them. From Chali 2na on the groove heavy "Higher Now," to Yellowman taking the helm on "Livin' In Babylon" and UB40's Ali Campbell on a frisky cover of reggae staple "Legalize It," the ride is a full of chill fun from start to finish.

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Free Rein (CD)

Fourteen years into an effervescent career, California reggae band and touring juggernaut Rebelution remains abundantly creative. Free Rein, while still rooted in the Jamaican inspiration that Rebelution's songs and sounds have always paid homage to, takes experimental leaps and new adventures.

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Fight The Good Fight (CD)

Fight the Good Fight is a joyful throwback to the ska-punk of the late '90s and early 2000s, complete with a guest turn by Rancid on “Got Each Other.” The album was also produced by Rancid's Tim Armstrong. With lyrics that deal with gravel-voiced singer Aimee Interrupter's rough childhood and search for connection, the band's songs are triumphant and upbeat, with tight musicianship and radio-friendly choruses such as on “She's Kerosene.”

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