When thinking about reggae, classic icons come to mind like Bob Marley, UB40, and Burning Spear. They have become the pop artists of the genre and have inspired generations. Through their contribution distant cousins to this genre were spawned, such as Sublime, who came into existence after reggae icons forged a path. However, that influence is dwindling in our culture of angry and whinny anthems that dominate popular music. That is why it is so rare to see a band genuinely influenced by reggae, making Bedouin Soundclash’s sophomore album a diamond in the ruff.
Bedouin Soundclash is what you would get if you stuck reggae, ska and rock in a blender. Its content stretches the gamut from the serious commentary about drug culture to poking fun at what the singer calls “money worries.”
After seeing they were on the label Side One Dummy, I fully expected to hear the latest up-and-coming punk band. But I was proven dead wrong. Instead, I was struck by a strikingly original reggae beat in the records first track entitled “When the Night Feels My Song.” It was the perfect opening track to a film set in the Caribbean islands, or to hear from head phones if you were actually there, stretched out on the beach.
With a music scene full of pop fluff, it’s such a relief to hear music with substance and deserving of praise. And it is that mood of hope that you find in reggae that defies the underlying depression in music today. In any case, even if you’re not a reggae fan, check these guys out at Warped Tour this summer. Bedouin will definitely be a welcome relief from the broken heart anthems.