LAID BLAK – ‘RED & BLAK’ – (Reel Me Records) RMR09

By on October 2, 2012
Artist: Laid Blak / Title: Red & Blak / Label: Reel Me
Cat No: RMR09 / Release: NOV 26th 2012
Format: CD/MP3


‘They’ve got presence to burn.tight musical and best of all, fun’ – Venue Magazine.
‘It would be unthinkable to see them play and not be left with a smile on your face’ – Daily Music Guide.

Expectations are running high for this one. Bristol’s most celebrated urban reggae crew, Laid Blak, are teaming up again, with one of Bristol’s hottest labels Reel Me Records to release Red & Blak, a 14 song collection of peerless grooves and righteous emotion. This partnership has already bought us 2 great singles in 2012, ‘Crazy’ and ‘Woah’ so to top it off with the ‘Red & Blak’ album seems fitting indeed.

Already legends in their hometown of Bristol, word has gradually spread about Laid Blak’s unstoppable live show, gaining them a coveted Rototom award for best Northern European Reggae band, as well as netting them support slots with such international heavyweights as Aswad, Nitin Sawhney and Julian Marley.

Given all this, the band would be forgiven for making a record that merely tries to recreate their live sound. But Laid Blak don’t do things by halves and Red & Blak is something much more special – an impeccably produced, beautifully sequenced trip that feels like the perfect gig, yet rewards repeated listening.
First time round will likely be spent wondering what the band will throw at you next. They’re lifelong reggae addicts who delight in mastering every variation on the genre – witness the dubby drum delays on ‘Bristol Love’, the tight ska-tinged guitars on ‘Get Down Low’, and even a cheeky nod to dubstup on ‘Fire’. Yet as members of Bristol’s famously cosmopolitan music scene, they also have plenty of other flavour’s up their sleeve – be that bhangra, rock or even flamenco – all of which are incorporated into their sound without it ever feeling incoherent.

The lyrics also cover many bases, including the healing power of reggae, the dangers of street violence, differing attitudes on drug use, and the joys of parenthood. As fans of the live show will already know, the band give off an eclectic mix of spirituality, honesty, political engagement and humour, but spend some time in the company of this album, with its gorgeous soulful harmonies, unexpected stylish licks, super tight vocal rolls, and warm, detailed production, and one thing’s for sure – Laid Blak’s way is sure to rub off on you..

01 Red / 02 Bristol Love / 03 My Way / 04 Truth / 05 Crazy / 06 Fire / 07 Hunny / 08 Shabba /
09 Get Down Low / 10 Woah / 11 Babies Eyes / 12 Lions / 13 Wanted / 14 Lava



Author: DaveHHM

Dave Luttrull: Owner/Editor in Chief of Hellhound Music. Star Wars nerd, Gamer, Destiny homer, blogger, writer and lover of all things music.