February 25, 2013
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 5||Backing : 4/5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 3|
Back in 1972 childhood friends Carlton Hines, Dave Harvey and Paul Mangaroo started to rehearse and sing. The vocal harmony trio took their name from the wickedest sound system in the area called Tetrack. Two years later they teamed with iconic musician/producer Augustus Pablo for whom they recorded "I'm Not Satisfied", which actually was their very first recording.
After having recorded several hit singles for Augustus Pablo in the following years including "Let's Get Started", "Isn't It Time", and "Only Jah Jah Know", Tetrack's first full length album "Let's Get Started" -- a classic in its own right -- was released on the Message label in 1980. Then Tetrack went on to record for 'Gussie' Clarke’s Music Works, which led to the release of their sophomore album "Trouble" in 1983. And although Tetrack, with Dennis Creary replacing Paul Mangaroo who then left the group, recorded a few songs for both 'Gussie' Clarke and Augustus Pablo, Tetrack just broke up in 1985.
And now, almost thirty years after the release of Tetrack's second album, they return with the digital released "Unfinished Business" set. Currently consisting of Carlton Hinds and Norris Reid of Viceroys fame, after original member Dave Harvey had left the re-formed group prior to the start of the project, Tetrack comes up with an album that features 14 solid to great tracks. It's striking to hear that, after all these years, Tetrack is still able to treat us to roots and lovers music that is stamped with quality all over. Vocally and lyrically it's simply good throughout, and the same goes for the riddims laid by Chris Meredith (drums, bass & keyboards), Howie (lead & rhythm guitar), David Madden (trumpet) and Tony Green (saxophone).
The album opener, the anthemic "Reflections" across a nyahbinghi flavored riddim, is a big tune that instantly draws your attention. And on it goes with the great sufferers tune "Some A Dem", a song that somehow sounds very familiar to our ears. And it even gets better with "Dem Can't Get You Out", a killer cultural piece that comes across a clever remake of The Abysinnians' "Declaration Of Rights" riddim. Then it's time for lovers with the beautiful "Same Speed", before the previously released single "Dread Out Deh", actually a reworking of one of the unreleased tunes done for 'Gussie' Clarke, drops in. Standout track fi sure! And on it goes with the matching "All Around", the lovers tune "Need You" on a relick of Bob Andy's "Unchained" riddim, and the wonderful "Water In A Basket". The rest of the material featured here includes reworkings of two tunes they originally did for Augustus Pablo, namely "Shirley" and "Nah Give Up".
Welcome return of Tetrack, and hopefully the release of this worthwhile album doesn't mean that they have finished business.