Reggae Hit L.A.
You’ve got to commend the Los Angeles-based Aggrolites for keeping it old-school-the band consistently do a fine job of recreating the classic ’60s Jamaican reggae/rocksteady sound, which, obviously, was pioneered long before anyone in the Aggrolites was even born. This is the ethic that permeates Reggae Hit L.A., the band’s third full-length: “Faster Bullet” smacks of vintage Wailers, right down to its creaky guitar lines; the title track shifts into the sort of fiery Caribbean soul over which the mighty Toots Hibbert still reigns supreme; while “Let’s Pack Our Bags” offers charming balladry, akin to Derrick Morgan or Ken Boothe’s softer moments. And to be sure, no cornerstone is left unturned-the influence of fellow greats like Alton Ellis, Justin Hinds and the Skatalites all work their way in. The only problem is, the songs, while still enjoyable, aren’t anywhere near as catchy as the now-immortal works of the aforementioned masters, making Reggae Hit L.A. long on style, but unfortunately, a tad short on substance.(HELLCAT) Brendan Manley