Sublime - Robbin' the Hood (Cover Artwork)


Robbin' the Hood (1994)


This album is weird. Weird in a good, Sublime sort of way, but weird nonetheless. During the late 1980's and early1990's, Sublime took the Long Beach , and after singer Brad Nowell's death the national, music community by storm with a mix of punk, ska, reggae and hip-hop. This mostly self produced release finds Sublime at the height of its powers, but the tracks often feel like they were just thrown on the cd without any thought as to how the album would flow.

That being said, there are many great tracks on this album. There are two versions, one full-band and one acoustic, of Brad Nowell's chronicle of his addition to heroine, "Poolshark". The dub-inspired "Work That We Do" and the fast paced ska-punk anthems "STP" and "All You Need" show Sublime at their best, with the band constantly changing tempos and Nowell showcasing his great voice. Songs like "Boss DJ", "Mary", and "Freeway Time in LA County Jail" , and a cover of Peter Tosh's "Steppin' Razor" also stand out.

Now to the albums' weirdness. There are three tracks called Raleigh Soliliquoys. I don't what the hell is going on here, I think the guy is joking , but I'm not sure. Anyway, they're just basically some old guy ranting and raving about nothin in particular really. They're actually pretty funny, but they completely break the flow of the album. Also included are songs like "Don't Care Too Much for Reggae Dub"(which is pretty funny too) and "Steady B Loop Dub", which while being solid tracks, just don't seem to fit. As a result of these interruptions to the album's flow, it can be hard to liste to, and several listens are required to really get into it.

But anyway, enough complaning. Sublime was a great band and this is a good cd with plenty of great songs. As a bonus, theres an early instrumental version of "Santeria" under the name "Lincoln Highway Dub" that rocks, and a cover of Barrington Levy's "Saw Red" with Brad and Gwen Stefani trading off vocals. To those unfarmiliar with Sublime, don't start with this album, save it for later. Buy 40 Oz. or the self-tiled one and see what a great band Sublime was, and then you'll be able to appreciate this one. For die-hard Sublime fans like me, this is for you, get it. It's a tragedy that the world will hear no more from this great band and from Brad Nowell.