As the years go by, Dub Trio’s name feels less and less apt. While the group’s early work orbited around reggae, more recent releases have focused on crushing, riff-centric metal. “World of Inconvenience,” the lead single from the group’s new LP, The Shape of Dub to Come, draws on both styles to create a crafty, atmospheric hybrid.
Often instrumental, the group gets a vocal assist here from Melvins frontman Buzz Osborne, whose inimitable bellow perfectly complements the track’s dark, dirge-like feel. Much as the group adds spacey, dub-like treatments to its instruments, Osborne’s voice is also run through a bevy of trippy effects. The track’s video augments footage of the group and singer performing in a subterranean space with swirling visual abstraction.
Dub Trio bassist Stu Brooks explained how the collaboration came about. “We are an instrumental band,” he said in a statement. “We’ve only ever had one guest on our albums, Mike Patton. (‘No Flag,’ Another Sound Is Dying, and ‘Not Alone,’ New Heavy). ‘World of Inconvenience’ was going to live on the album as an instrumental but the sludge metal riff was screaming for Buzz. So as a last minute add, we reached out to him. He took the instrumental to his studio in L.A. and we gave him total creative freedom. The lyrics are like a puzzle or a code that can’t be cracked in just one listen.”
“It always rewarding to create a piece of music, have an artist interpret it, and have it come back a different animal,” guitarist Dave Holmes tells Rolling Stone via e-mail. “Buzz brought out a whole other side to the song that didn’t exist before.” Drummer Joe Tomino praises Osborne as “an artist that has a unique voice and uncompromising career.”
“It’s not often I get to write lyrics and sing over music I didn’t come up with, so this was a special treat for me,” Osborne added. “I’m glad they let me be involved.”
Out April 26th, The Shape of Dub to Come will be Dub Trio’s fifth LP and first in eight years. Since Dub Trio’s prior LP, 2011’s IV, members of the group have worked with everyone from Lauryn Hill to Matisyahu. Previously, they’ve served as a live band for both Mike Patton and Matisyahu. Dub Trio will be on tour in the U.S. this May.
Dub Trio Tour Dates
May 9 – Washington, D.C. @ DC9
May 10 – Philly, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
May 11 – Hamden, CT @ Space Ballroom
May 12 – Cambridge, MA @ Middle East Upstairs
May 14 – Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus
May 16 – Asbury Park, NJ @ The Saint
May 17 – Burlington, Vermont @ Higher Ground
May 18 – East Durham, NY @ Flyday Music Festival