A decade ago, I didn't know my Lee Perry from my Mad Professor when it came to dub music. I'd of course heard dub remixes and both of the aforementioned artists, but I really hadn't gotten into the genre very deeply. Fortunately, with some education from my dub-loving wife (who has seen Perry in concert something like five times), I got a good start and tried my best to continue finding the good stuff.
My dub education doesn't really mean a whole lot when it comes to reviewing Dub Trio, though, because other than their name and a few echoing sound effects, this NYC band doesn't really have much in common with the genre that's been around for nearly half a century now. In fact, after listening to the opening track of Another Sound Is Dying, I had to try pretty hard to simply not shut it off, as the heaving heavy metal track sounds more like the instrumental version of what you might hear playing behind a band that hits the Ozzfest circuit.
Sticking with the release reveals some twists, but requires patience as well. In places, the group whips into a freewheeling mode that's both destructive and fun. "Bay Vs. Leonard" is just under three and a half minutes of crazy guitar antics, growling bass, and insane drumming that shears of into an echo chamber in some heady drops, while "The Agonist" finds the group ripping through some almost power-punk progressions while again offset in places with murky subsonic beats and spacey sound effects.
Unfortunately, a good portion of the rest of the album is an awkward melange of grunting rhythms and transitions into their alter-ego dub sections that range from jawdropping to completely forced. It's the sort of release that metal fans will probably like because it offers plenty of chunk-tastic riffs (that aren't too far off from newer, more polished work from Helmet), but dub fans will probably steer clear from because of it's focus on said heavy-fisted bombast.