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Friday, September 19, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 73.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Paper
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Infantry Rockers
Boombala (Revolucion Disks)

With their membership scattered between New Orleans and Wisconsin, dub masters Infantry Rockers are more than just a Madison band. And despite all the success they've had bringing their older discs to the international reggae audience with help from the UK's Dubhead label, they aren't such a dub-centric act these days either.

But in music, change is almost always a good thing, so it's no surprise that moving on has opened up interesting new vistas for the Rockers on Boombala. Dub tunes like the nonchalant melodica showcase "Centipede" are often lighter in tone than their earlier bass-driven throb sessions, and other songs that mine danceable pop styles like ragga and cumbia for rhythmic hooks take direct aim at the global club audience. A hint of the Specials' crossover ska work even shows up in the melodic break of "Sheila," an otherwise relentless slice of hip-hop-friendly ragga that's all about sweating up those natty dreads.

As was the case with prior releases, the production is excellent throughout and full of spacey synth squiggles and vocal tags echoed into infinity. Kudos are due to the knob-twisters at DNA, Surround Sound and all the other studios involved in the project.

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