Sublime With Rome
After losing Bradley Nowell -- the face of Sublime -- the rest of the group retired the Sublime name for a good 13 years before recruiting Rome Ramirez. For Yours Truly, their first release together under the name Sublime with Rome, it’s wise that they play up the fact that this is a different band than the one that put out 40 oz. to Freedom. Ramirez doesn’t have nearly as much personality as Nowell, and for many, the former frontman was the essential ingredient. However, for the fans that are willing and able to move on, Ramirez’s silky voice nicely complements bassist Eric Wilson and drummer Bud Gaugh. With the exceptions of the electronic dub of “Safe and Sound“ and a cameo by rapper Wiz Khalifa in the bridge of “Can You Feel It,” they stay true to the sound that made Sublime a household name. Ramirez does a good job of mimicking Nowell's style of guitar playing, and on vocals he wisely holds to a less-is-more approach rather than trying to be showy. He offers up a laid-back, beach bum style of singing reggae-pop and So-Cal punk, appealing equally to fans of Jack Johnson and Third Eye Blind. Meanwhile the production, courtesy of Butthole Surfers' Paul Leary, seems straight from the days when the Third Wave of Ska Revival was peaking (with the occasional DJ scratch thrown in for good measure). Yours Truly doesn’t quite match the caliber of the albums in the Sublime discography, but it’s a fairly enjoyable spin-off just the same.
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