The Dingees were always a part of the underground ska/reggae/punk scene. They weren’t consistent enough in sound song to song let alone album to album to really gain much mainstream success. They released three fantastic records on Tooth and Nail, each one different and really good in their own way. After the Crucial Conspiracy the went dark and dropped off the public radar.
Well a year or two ago I noticed that the band was still active and had new music on the internet and the promise of a new album. So it take me by complete surprise to see that the Dingees had in fact released a new album for free download.
The Rebel Soul Sound System is different. It’s a bad comparison but I’m going to make it anyway. Remember when Bad Brains stopped being a hardcore band and were doing their reggae/rock thing? Remember how weird that was at first? That’s kind of what this is like.
The album is mostly a reggae record with punk roots. At times I find myself thinking of The Clash but at times, the record is something different all together. While the reggae influence the Dingees have always had is the driving force of the album, there are some rock moments (Blackout!) and a punk moment that sounds like a tribute to the Bad Brains (Capital Imperial).
Late in the record are the two nicest moments of the record, Port Royal Sound and Mercy Triumphs Over Judgement. Port Royal Sound is a really nice, low key, I’d guess you’d call it a ska song. It’s that laid back, drink on the beach, ska. Not the frantic upbeat, skanking ska we all love. Mercy Triumphs Over Judgement is an acoustic track that’s just nice. And there’s nothing wrong with just an enjoyable song.
The Rebel Soul Sound System is a good record. It’s a low-fi reggae record with a bunch of nice rock, punk, and ska moments. It’s different for the Dingees but the Dingees never conformed to any one style. If you’re looking for something different, this is a great record to give a spin. And it’s free.
You can download The Rebel Soul Sound System here http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/75806