UK bum-rushers Dub Pistols have festival goers ready to greedily eat from the palm of their hand. Wholly set up for the live experience, the instantaneous draw of house, drum ‘n’ bass, hip-hop and dub explodes with ragga hooks, regularly provided by Dan Bowskill, and a raft of scrumptious horn fanfares. It’s safe to say that the big beat tag that made them has long been left behind, though not totally dispensed with given the inclusion of Fatboy Slim cohort Lindy Layton, and the translation from stage to studio doesn’t come up short. With a little education lead by UK scholar Akala speaking up on “West End Story,” and narrative finding Brit-rap legend Rodney P going out of his head on the surging “Mucky Weekend,” its party-friendliness insists on pushing levels into the red. Opening ragga-house rumpus “Alive” has bass that can be heard for miles around, calling out the best of Groove Armada’s “Superstylin” and Funkstar de Luxe’s “Sun is Shining” in one fell swoop.
What the album lacks in outright originality, re-entering the home listening/live event argument again, it’s ever-ready to rev up a foolproof scatter & swing blueprint: clean, uncluttered, piece-by-piece production. More’s the point, the Barry Ashworth-helmed unit have been in the game long enough to know what makes a front row tick, pushing for crowd-surfing to become an Olympic sport so they can bring home gold.
File under: Groove Armada, Rudimental, Monkey Mafia