Dr. Woggle & The Radio
Skycap Records - Rough Trade
September 21, 2007
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 4||Production : 4/5||Sound quality : 4/5||Sleeve : 3/4|
Having taken a break from recording for
four years, when Dr. Woggle & The Radio followed
their fine 2001 debut "Suitable" with the very fine sophomore album "Bigger Is
Tough" in 2003 on Münster's Grover Records now they return with their
third and so far best album for Skycap Records "Rockers!" that despite its
title probably bringing up thoughts about the Channel One roots era in
reggae listeners' minds is completely in line with their earlier albums
presenting an overall relaxed mix of rocksteady and horndriven reggae.
The full sound mind lure you into thinking the band is larger than the
actual 7 members, but with the two men horns section and great vocal
harmonies it's really more than impressive what is delivered on this
After the first bars the horns kick in in great style on opener "Sing This Tune" with its woeful lyrics and unfortunately rockstyle guitar solo (something I personally dislike and returning in several songs ...) being a wonderful tune, followed by the albums biggest tune on which Irie Révoltés' Mal Élevé joins the band for the brilliant "Solution" and the fast paced ska of "Run And Hide" that is lyrically completely anti-Babylonion roots-reggae. "Live Alone" is also (after a same-styled great organ intro) more ska/rocksteady influenced musically and a beautiful 'being turned down by a girl'-tune, before the riddim section slows down again for the beautiful "Give It A Try".
"One Happy Day" is Dr. Woggle & The Radio's rather original relick of one of reggae's most relicked riddims 'Real Rock' before they take a twist on The Busters' "Soon You'll Be Gone" (not covering this 1965 tune, but surely showing their admiration for it), followed by the lyrically fatalistic sounding "Straight Is The Way" with it's magnificent organ solo and the jazzy latin ska of lovers tune "All The Time" with its even better piano prominence.
On >I>"Babylonians" bluesy rock guitars and a mouth harmonica drown the conscious lyrics, but that is more than made up for with "River Jordan" on which the vocals are superb, with the harmonies reminiscent of heydays Gladiators singing contesting "Solution" for being the album's best track and the happy-go-lucky vibe of "Bring Love". The official final tune on this album is the thoughtful downtempo "Never Mind" but the stomping hidden "Instrumental" bonus track is a great way to showcase the musical abilities of Dr. Woggle & The Radio and the progress they've once more made with this very satisfying 3rd album.