Title
Artist
Label
Format
Date

Them
FC Apatride Utd
Makafresh
CD
May 27, 2007

Track list
  1. Them
  2. Tricks
  3. What An Occupation
  4. Jah Is Dead
  5. Serbia '99
  6. Rebel Soul
  7. Wife Strong
  8. Heaven
  9. Sunday
  10. H.R.
  11. Tell Them
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 3 Backing : 3 Production : 3 Sound quality : 3 Sleeve : 3
"You love reggae,don't you? It's easy to love. The only music that contains God. Pure nature. Black man's music? Nay. Man's music. You're not a Rasta? Why should you be. You are what you are. You don't smoke weed? Neither do I. Confused? Don't be.....God is the greatest...Am I a critic or am I a follower? Definitely not dogmatic. It is our duty to accept the truth, reject the lies and to form a healthy attitude. We live and we learn, and ignorance brings good to no one. Knowledge makes you realise that a struggle is taking place, right here, right now. Good against the evil. God against the devil. If you're not God's soldier get the hell out of this web page...

You're still here?"
(edited excerpts from FC Apatride Utd's web site).

FC Apatride Utd are made up of Muslim and Eastern European band members, and have a serious intention in their music -- that is clear from their sombre lyrics, dealing with problems faced by the downtrodden, and the problems faced by disenfranchised Muslim communities in Palestine and Iraq -- And it has to be said, the bass lines are extreme, deep, clear and heavy, supported by timbale snares and rimshot cracks. The guitar is sparse, austere, and in places has echoes of the I Jahman Levi styles.

All of the themes are strictly anti Capitalist, anti materialist, with a spiritual focus. "What An Occupation" scorns any man who desires to join an army to kill maim and hurt -- "How can any man want to carry a gun and to kill a human being," the lyrics question.

"Wife" is dedicated to the pure love of mother and child, and to the joy of family life, instead of a life of strife, violence and pointless ego satisfaction.

"Heaven" tries to imagine a life not dominated and controlled by materialism and self seeking, far away from the "enemies of life."

The second last track, "HR", deals with the loneliness of worker alienation and the corrosion of ever present, ever increasing technology.

In places, it's a powerful album with an intense and very personal focus and message -- it probably isn't an album for the trad. reggae listener, but is likely to appeal to more left field listeners, such as those who enjoyed the BSI label, and Ryan Moore's very early works.

Apatride have a powerful sound and a relevant inner city message to communicate to the listener -- The only complaints from me are the sometimes dour samey sound of some of the tracks, and the sometime scornful homo phobic lyrics, the latter of which seem so very out of place with the pro humanitarian, "pro compassion" message of the entire project. JA reggae seems to be obsessed with anti gay messages in some sub genres, and it is disappointing to hear it echoed in Europe too. Some might say that it is a subjective or a religious debate -- but which ever way you look at it, it is a difficult issue to ignore, and a very controversial one too in reggae circles.

Otherwise? -- the seriousness of the FC Apatride Utd message lyrics and the clean and heavy drum and basslines are surely to be applauded.