Alkaline

New and Notable Releases


Rating: NNNNN


No wonder Big Sugar released their ill-advised dub album under the name Alkaline. A wheezing mess like Extra Long Life isn’t the kind of thing you want lurking around your back catalogue for the rest of your life.

From the Jah-praising biblical quotation on the sleeve on down, this is fakery at its most absurd. Gordie Johnson and crew shear off the vocals and add space echo to some old tracks, stutter the rhythm and sample some rude bwoy patois for that authentic JA feeling. Halfway through, the ruse grows tired, so Extra Long Life becomes a funky instrumental record with lots of reverb. The mixes aren’t all that terrible, but dub is as much about a gripping rhythm as fancy effects. You can heap on the echo and bury the master tape in the back yard, but Big Sugar will never be the Upsetters, no matter how embarrassingly hard they try. Alkaline play the Phoenix May 30.

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