Album Reviews

Sublime With Rome – Yours Truly

on July 13, 2011, 8:00am
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It’s been 15 years since Sublime released a studio album, since the death of lead singer Bradley Nowell led to the implosion of the band right as they were finally hitting it big. After a lengthy hiatus, a few performances with new vocalist Rome Ramirez, and a legal kerfuffle with Nowell’s estate over the name, the regrouped Sublime With Rome is trying its hand at recording. The result, titled Yours Truly, is a series of sunshiny, reggae/ska jams that unfortunately lacks the bite that characterized Sublime’s best work.

Sublime and Sublime with Rome share obvious characteristics: style, audience, two-thirds of the band members. Their major difference, aside from vocals, is that Sublime was dangerous. The equally charming and subversive Nowell slipped freely between the comparatively tame lyrics of tracks like “Don’t Push”, and unabashedly, gloriously filthy songs like “Caress Me Down” as easily as he switched languages. The music reflected these changes in dynamics, soaring and falling, insulting and pondering in equal measure. Sublime With Rome, on the other hand, is not going to hurt you. Their music is gentler, more radio-friendly, and it tends to wander off.

Opener “Panic” blows the doors off, with fat ska horns that hearken back to “Date Rape” inspiring initial confidence. Ramirez lays the verses down smoothly, curling his voice around the corners of words, with a slight up-lilt that draws the ear. “Murdera” is catchy and unique, albeit annoyingly repetitive in the way so much jam music is. “Can You Feel It”, featuring Wiz Khalifa, is the better side of jam band territory. Flowy and loose, dreamy and melodic, this track is meant for peacing out at festivals. Outside of these highlights, though, things are a bit sleepy. Jams run on, and lyrics begin to bleed together until it’s easy to lose track of the music.

The best advice for this one is to remember that Sublime is a dead band. Sublime With Rome is its own creature, and Yours Truly is a very decent jam album. It’s no Sublime record, but you knew that from the name, right?

15 comments

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scott mac
April 4, 2012 at 4:08 pm

great review. spot on from a TRUE true sublime fan.

Dfgdgf
December 12, 2011 at 1:34 am

You people are all dumb.

Polacofede
December 8, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Mmm maybe I have been a bit hard with this album, I have listen to it several times and I think it likes me, something I have done is to mix this songs on a list with original sublime songs and many times the songs of this album flow with them very nicely. Anyway I would prefer them to leave aside the “sugar” a bit. And I also think that using the Sublime name could play against them since they may be under sublime/brad figure forever. (I mean everyone will compare this band with Sublime and Rome with Brad and that would be a very hard test to pass). I wish the best for ”Sublime with Rome”.

“good music is good music and that should be enough for anybody. – Brad Nowell

Polacofede
December 6, 2011 at 1:31 am

I think many of this new album songs sounds like to sugar, very commercial. I really believe they should review the sublime and the bands that inspired them to go back on track. If not, soon they will be making the same crappy music that other commercial/radio sugar bands do and that would be lame. Please don’t get me wrong Sublime died with Brad but you can do great new music anyway, but if you want to play sugar music then at least remove the “Sublime” part from the band’s name. Really whish Brad were alive..

Randy
December 3, 2011 at 1:16 am

Never knew the story of Sublime, but always had a few of their songs.  Decided to get some new songs and was sad to learn about all that happened.  Anyways, I totally agree with this review.  I liked the edge that Santeria had with lines like, “Daddy’s got a new 45″ and “stick that bell straight down Sancho’s throat” haha.  Also, What I Got talking about payback and stuff like that.  I thought this was a pretty good album.

I know that Brad and Sublime is gone, but I hope the next album they do steers back towards that classic edgy Sublime reggae punk rock style with lyrics that talk about kicking your ass, threatening some buster and being hard-core, but in a clever and unconventional, mixed pace West coast beachy way.  I think Rome is up to the task.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d excel a some bursts of bilingual lyricism.  I would love to hear a new song in the style of Santeria, although that would be a tricky thing to not copy the original, or even come off as trying too hard.

On the bright side, we still have two of the original guys!  Rome just needs more anger, or to be dumped by his girlfriend and we’ll get some good songs then lol

steve
August 21, 2011 at 3:12 am

I hear a faint echoe of the sound but the voice isn’t their. I was disappointed. Rome is a good singer but he is not even close to filling the shoes of Nowell. He has not depth. It will never come close to 40oz or Robbin the hood.

Mason
August 10, 2011 at 3:06 am

I’d be fine with this album, except that they’re still using the label of “Sublime” to make money. It’s like a cheap ass knock-off of the band I used to love. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a decent album, but nothing here is anything like what made Sublime great (except Panic; excellent song right there). If SWR is truly “its own creature”, they should really drop any pretense of being “Sublime”, and stop playing Bradley’s songs live. Sublime was an extremely important and influential ska/punk/reggae band. Sublime with Rome is just a pop band that’s decided to dress rasta. They might as well be playing “I’m Yours”.

Rockstardann
July 21, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Drug of choice? Have you HEARD “Can You Feel It” Pretty clear his choice

Samuffa
July 18, 2011 at 9:10 pm

You are an idiot.

Gregknizzel
July 16, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Of course sublime is dead, but you have to keep in mind that this is no longer sublime; it’s a whole new band. You cant compare the two because they aren’t the same

Booger
July 14, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Ok, I listened to most of the album and these are my notes:

It starts off real strong showcasing the whole reggae/dub, ska, punk influences that we all love.  However  track 6 or 7-11 are almost the same ole sappy “oh girl why are you doing me wrong” song.  Practically the same intros, same song concept and almost same chord progressions.    As the poster below stated way too much like Jack Johnson or Jason Mraz in the sense of a cheesy pop song.  Track 12 “Can You Feel It” is a step in the direction the whole album should be.  They used that Wiz K (instead of Snoop and KRS) guy to target the younger audience me thinks.

The deluxe album has three bonus tracks.  Two of them (Dynamite and Safe & Sound) should’ve replaced two of the tracks from 7-11, as they demonstrate the diversity and innovation that lie at the bands’ core principles.  The original band took a shit load of risks and every song displayed something different & outlandish.  Music has changed so much in 16 years I didn’t expect an album that replicated the old sound exactly but rather include some  progressive styles of today.  Safe & Sound is old Sublime-esque in terms of risks.  It’s a dubstep song, which is a big thing in southern california right now.  It’s an elementary attempt at dubstep but they get major kudos for stepping outside of the box. 

What I was hoping for most with this album was something I could bump real loud in the car or at a party.  A good raging soundtrack for the summer.  Some of the tracks can be rocked out to but it’s just not consistant. A large chunk lacks edge and grittyness.  I wasn’t expecting the world from this album but was hoping for something a little more dope with a bigger bite.

We’ll see though, maybe it just takes a little longer to peel back the layers and discover the genius and brilliance of it.  Or it just might actually be aimed at the Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson, singer/songer/surfer audience.

One last comment about poster Jodyw13, dude let it go.  That argument is tired and overplayed.  No need to debate such a vague topic.  Sublime is dead, true but Brad was only one strong component of the unit.  There is so much more to creating music than lyrics and vocals.  The producers, sound engineers and other contributing members made Sublime what it was.  Did you ever see them live in the early to mid nineties?  There was nothing revolutionary about their live shows other than good entertainment.  The studio albums were brilliant all because the contributions of many with Brad’s timeless vision pushing the them into the mainstream. He didn’t even finish his obligations on Sublime self-titled.

So anyway, enough about a sore subject.  I guess we’ll see what this new creature can bring to the table in the next couple of years.  I have hope that they’ll get back to killing shit in the future. I’m stoked about this Rome guy.  I think he has some real potential and seems to be really passionate and a hard worker.

booger 

Booger
July 13, 2011 at 11:38 pm

They don’t need drugs to get hardcore, but they do need to grow some balls and take some risks.  Take it back to the old school and throw it down real hard on every track.  Listening to the track tonight and I’ll post what I think tomorrow.

Booger
July 13, 2011 at 11:38 pm

They don’t need drugs to get hardcore, but they do need to grow some balls and take some risks.  Take it back to the old school and throw it down real hard on every track.  Listening to the track tonight and I’ll post what I think tomorrow.

Projectgf8
July 13, 2011 at 4:13 pm

The music is good but Rome is using Sublime to get big.  95 percent of the lyrics sound like something Jason Mraz or Jack Johnson wrote.  I think Rome needs to pick up a drug of choice and learn what Sublime was all about.

Bean
July 13, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Yea he def does need a drug of choice…just not heroin. Maybe some shrooms

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