Album review
Forces 1977-1982

Tracking list

  1. Hail The Day
  2. Fade Away
  3. Love Is Better
  4. Guerilla Priest (feat. Lee Perry)
  5. Four Corners (feat. Roland Alphonso)
  6. Christine Keller (feat. Roland Alphonso)
  7. What Am I Living For (feat. Roland Alphonso)
  8. Ska Bostello (feat. Roland Alphonso)
  9. Treat Her Right (feat. Roland Alphonso)
  10. Bridge View (feat. Roland Alphonso)
  11. Anittoo
  12. Forces
  13. Drainidge
  14. I Want Justice
  15. Happy Man
  16. My Best Girl
  17. Bitch Slapped
  18. It's Impossible
  19. Happy Go Lucky Girl
  20. Copasetic
  21. What Am I Living For
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 3/4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5

Roir has a long tradition of releasing reggae & dub with over 20 years of working with both established acts and unknowns who have that unusual music quality that springboards them to wider recognition and steady sales. In 1984, Roir was the first label to domestically release the work of Adrian Sherwood of On-U Sound, followed up with the Suns of Arqa, Mute Beat, Puls Der Zeit, Badawi, Alpha & Omega, Phase Selector Sound as well as historically releasing reggae stalwarts Mikey Dread, Lee Perry, Yellowman, Scientist, Roots Radics, Big Youth, Skatalites and more.
Two years before the UK Two Tone movement (Specials, Madness, Selector, Beat) announced a raw punky ska “new popular movement” in the UK, months before The Offs captured San Francisco with their dubby punk, the number one band playing reggae, ska, dub and punk on the East Coast, particularly New York City, were Terrorists. They were regularly gigging in N.Y.C. at Max’s Kansas City, CBGBs, Irving Plaza, Mudd Club, Hurrah, Tramps, the 80’s. Their unique punky, reggae, dub, ska were in great demand. Started in October 1977 by drummer Dro, bassist Gary Schiess (aka DB), singer and guitarist Ray De Angel and keyboardist Frank Covello with early replacement singer John Collins and guitarist Mark “Dino Supreme” Levi, the band became truly solid and extremely bookable. Their commitment to reggae and their ability to consistently crowd the dance floor kept them busy week after week. These guys were hot, they brought in business and before long they played with Roland Alphonso and Lee “Scratch” Perry, who adopted them as his collaborators. They were punk, ska, dub, reggae freaks, just as the 1977 “Exodus” Marley punky reggae movement and Two Tone Earthquake captured the UK press and a new scene was born.
The album 'Forces 1977-1982' brings together the unique recordings of this band. Most of the tunes are selfpenned songs, but they also do some distinctive do-overs of reggae classics such as Junior Byles' Fade Away, Roland Alphoso's Studio One cuts Four Corners and Ska-Bostello and the John Holt tunes My Best Girl and Happy Go Lucky Girl. Outstanding tracks here include the combination track Guerrilla Priest, a duet with Lee Perry. This song is also featured here (without lee Perry) as Love Is Better. All the tunes the band does with saxophonist Roland Alphonso are excellent tracks, most of them with a heavy ska beat. The punky version of Delroy Wilson's I Want Justice and Happy Man are two more great songs found here.
Because of the involvement of Lee “Scratch” Perry, who traveled with and fronted the Terrorists over 20 years ago, and the many tracks with Roland Alphonso of the Skatalites, also from 20 years ago, this is an important slice of reggae, ska, punk, dub from Manhattan in the late seventies. This is an historic document with material that is absolutely marvelous and unique. It puts a totally new perspective on reggae in Manhattan evenings during that period just before Marley was breaking through internationally with “Exodus” and brought reggae to a new tidal wave.

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