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Bimini Rd. | Bimini Rd.

album review by John Powell

Bimini Rd. | Bimini Rd.

Virginia’s Bimini Rd. has a perfect mid-summer beach party vibe. Their self-titled album is filled with roots reggae one drops, fat bass lines, and some catchy melodies. Made up of Travis on vocals and guitar, Aaron on guitar, Mike on vocals and bass, Ortiz on drums, and Wilkens on keys, it’s a classic reggae band set-up. The songs sometimes dip into philosophy and break beyond good vibes, and the songs certainly come off more rounded than your classic SoCal reggae bands lamenting over girls and getting wasted.

All of that has its, place of course, as does roots reggae teeming with Rasta culture, with politics, with revolution. In between is Bimini Rd. Mike’s voice is part of this condition. Deep, tight, his voice sounds somewhat 3 Doors Down. Okay, nothing wrong with that. Just be prepared. Therefore, the songs have a more Mighty Mighty Bosstones sound than The Green.

No worries. Songs like the opener, “A Fool’s Lament”, are delicious. “I tried to jump the shark/ but I slipped into that fall,” Mike says before the poignant chorus: “Patience is a virtue/ just not one of mine.” The bass n’ drums throughout sound great. They use the right amount of roots counter riddims and bits of rock n’ roll.

For instance, “Shoot ‘Em Up”, which features Aaron Lipp, of Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad fame, on keys. This song, on top of having signature organ blitz, feels slightly biker boy in a reggae fashion. Strange combo, I know, but Bimini Rd. does it well. Because of this, they are refreshing reggae music. The chorus is a call and response that’ll get you dancing.

Ultimately, that’s what this album can do: get you moving. It’s not much of a get irie, sit, and mellow kind of thing. It’s pulse pounding. “Rhyme and Rhythm” is a good example. The electric guitar has a cool sound to it and the lyrics go, “You keep on dancing/ We’ll keep on living.” It grooves and pitches and rubs you in all the right places.

There is a lot of sex and love on the album too. “Black Dress” is an absolutely gorgeous song- worth the price of admission alone. “We don’t need no electric light,” goes the chorus; “We’ll dance by the moonlight.” It’s sweet and funky. Two good things.

The album is mixed well. You can hear most of the words. Instruments never vie for attention. The closer, “San Juan”, is a perfect bookend, getting slightly Sublime. Bridging some genre gaps, Bimini Rd. needs to continue harnessing their potential and get more global. However, this album is far from a disappointment, and well suited for a barbeque, boat ride, or when the swimsuits come off in the bed of the cabana.

Bottom line: Reggae with some rock flare, almost SoCal, very witty. Good stuff.


 

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