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A Life In Minutes by Ed Rome

A Life In Minutes by Ed Rome

A Life In Minutes by Ed Rome

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Another retro but leftfield Rockers Revolt release.

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A Life In Minutes by Ed Rome

Reggae is one of the greatest forms of music because it hits the spot between the sounds of the countryside and the city. So an attempt to add some South London picket line polemic with a touch of down-by-the-canal English folksiness always carries the danger of tipping the balance askew into something unpleasant. Luckily, Ed Rome’s album A Life In Minutes on Rockers Revolt manages to stay on tack due to the winning nature of its songs - although overproof reggae purists may run a mile.

Ed likes to hide his voice under grungy processing - which is a shame as it’s an immense (if unsubtle) instrument with considerable power to move. This is particularly apparent on the fairground ska jaunt Some Truth and the coarsely candid Non Relationship Rant where he breezily recounts his experience as a one time paramour’s “bit of rough”. The more arresting instrumentals choose to innovate rather than simply emulate but all have a solid grainy competence. (As a side note it’s interesting to observe Mr Rome’s painstaking recreation of a raw original ska sound that its inventors, saddled with two track recording equipment and inspired by the clean productions of Latin jazz, would have given their right arms to avoid).

At his best (which is most of the time) Ed Rome mixes well-crafted takeoffs of turn of the seventies Jamaican music and the butter-wouldn’t-melt Mod cheekiness of the early Who and the Jam. At his worst he can come on a bit like the Levellers. But this is another bold effort by Rockers Revolt to show you can look back on the past with loving eyes and create a style that feels fresh.

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