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Westbound Train - Transitions (Cover Artwork)

Westbound Train

Westbound Train: TransitionsTransitions (2006)
Hellcat Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: GlassPipeMurderGlassPipeMurder
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Reggae got soul. Ska also got soul. So does dub and rocksteady. If you haven't got the hint yet, Westbound Train got soul. With their Hellcat Records debut, Westbound Train joins the ranks of such formidable acts as the Slackers, Hepcat, and the Aggrolites and demonstrates that their smooth, laid b.
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Reggae got soul. Ska also got soul. So does dub and rocksteady. If you haven't got the hint yet, Westbound Train got soul. With their Hellcat Records debut, Westbound Train joins the ranks of such formidable acts as the Slackers, Hepcat, and the Aggrolites and demonstrates that their smooth, laid back trad-ska style fits right in with the rest of the Hellcat ska posse.

Taking their name from legendary reggae artist Dennis Brown, Westbound Train are unquestionably qualified to carry on the title in the name of reggae and ska music. In an approach that can only be described as some of the smoothest, most soulful ska around, Transitions is over an hour of fantastic musicianship coupled with velvety vocals and relaxing lyrics.

"Please Forgive Me," the first song after the introduction, sets the pace for the rest of the album with an upbeat, ridiculously catchy melody and intricate composition of horns, keys, and jazzy guitar playing. The first forty seconds of "I'm Sorry Mama" led me to believe I was about to hear a traditional ska rendition of Eminem's "Cleaning Out My Closet" with the opening line, "I'm sorry mama, I didn't mean to make you cry..." Fortunately I was mistaken, though it probably would have made for an interesting cover. "Gone" offers up vocals sweet enough to make a grown man melt, backed up by a bouncy rocksteady rhythm and romantic crooning that make for the strongest track of the album (and also one of the shortest at 3:46).

Admittedly, some of the songs remind me of something I could see my mom listening to, such as the jazzy "I Feel Fine," but that doesn't bother me in the least. Transitions is an incredibly solid first offering for Hellcat, and sets the bar high for what's to come from the Boston septet.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (September 29, 2006)

This album totally one-ups their last. I'm not so sure I like the new version of "When I Die," the one on 5 to 2 was a little more clean and stripped down soul. Aside from that, utterly fantastic, beautiful stuff.

Also, the best live show in ska right now. Except maybe Big D (who I saw them together with, so it worked out.)

Anonymous (September 28, 2006)

best ska CD of 06, better than Peculiar and THree Cheers for disppointment, yup

PhantomBoner (September 28, 2006)

These guys put on a fuckin awesome live show. Probably my favorite currently active ska band.

Anonymous (September 26, 2006)

I saw them live and they were so fucking boring. Not impressive in any way.

jamespastepunk (September 26, 2006)

Hellcat's bringing back the ska.

Anonymous (September 26, 2006)

Best of the year, no question. Even better than the Slackers.

skankin_in_the_pit (September 26, 2006)

I can't wait to pick this up. Hopefully I can find it somewhere around town today.

FatTony (September 26, 2006)

From the songs I've heard, this album is fucking great. I can't wait for it to arrive in my mailbox.

dolorbrigand (September 26, 2006)

I was very impressed with this Hellcat release. I have to admit that after hearing Time Again I was more than ready for a mature release from the label to reel me back in. I can't help but throwing on some Desmond Dekker or Curtis Mayfield when this album spins to a stop. But I have to agree with Mike, It still doesn't top the Aggrolites 2nd, S/T, album earlier this year.

ozmanx (September 26, 2006)

Gotta love this band. I'll try to pick this up tomorrow along with the Falcon record.

MikeStupid (September 26, 2006)

I'll be picking this up tomorrow, but I'll be surprised if any ska/reggae album this year can top The Aggrolites.

Fuzzy (September 26, 2006)

So fucking good.

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