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Published: 2007/07/22
by Joe Doherty

Cool Out and Coexist – Dub Trio

ROIR

At first glance, metal and dub seem about as similar as John Denver and Les Claypool. On its latest album, a live record cut earlier this year at New York’s Union Pool, Dub Trio triumphantly smears these polar genres together. The three members Stu Brooks (bass), DP Holmes (guitar) and Joe Tomino (drums) create an unparalleled atmosphere where chilled-out dub mingles comfortably with head-thrashing metal. Coexistence. And since this album captures the band using no overdubs or studio mixing, the near-flawless interweaving of these elements is a testimony to the trio’s firmness as a group.

Most of the songs on Cool Out and Coexist save “Drive By Dub” begin as punked-out vehicles for riffing power chords. At certain junctures, the dub sneaks in quickly then leaves like an unwelcome guest. On “Who Wants to Die?” bass and drums drop out, momentarily giving way to two reggae guitar strokes, then back to the heavy. Other times it comes through the front door and makes itself at home. On “Jack Bauer,” Tomino trades in earth-shaking playing for a slow, extended rhythm, allowing his band mates to find a groove.

What’s found on Cool Out and Coexist is far from loose, however. Each of the 14 tracks are meticulously structured, arranged and charted out. Still, the band manages to project a genuinely mellow vibe when it dubs. The fluid, split-second hiccups in sound create the atmosphere. Recorded in real time, the seamless execution of this can come only from excessive rehearsal that would make Frank Zappa proud.

What’s more, Dub Trio could be on to something bigger here. Cool out in order to coexist?

Sounds good.

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