It’s tough to find authentic reggae bands, bands that not just embody the spirit of Jamaican music history, but ones that actually do it right. We’re not talking about a white boy summer made up patois, but a real deal sound and feel from start to finish. A band that we can count on to do this 100% again and again is Jr. Thomas & the Volcanos.
Their Rockstone Lp on Colemine was one of the best new (but really old in heart and soul) that we had heard since the Frightnrs dropped their classic on Daptone a bunch of years ago. Straight up Jamaica to the core, it was as if we stepped right on to the shores on Jamaica in the late ’60s and found this SoCal collective wailing on Jamaica’s golden era tracks. So again, it’s only fitting that Colemine go for the gold again by reissuing their debut record Beware. Pressed from the original masters at Gotta Groove Records and house in a Stoughton tip-on jacket, this one goes straight to your reggae shelf and gets maximum spins. This band of talented and on point musicians has played on many reggae records and legends such as Jimmy Cliff, The Aggrolites, Hepcat, Western Standard Time, Skatalites, as well as Tim Armstrong (Rancid) projects among others. Heavily inspired by Phyllis Dillon, Dave Barker, The Wailers, Alton Ellis, The Bleechers, and more, Junior Thomas aka Thomas McDowall too his passion for Jamaican music and linked up with reggae producer Ben Dixon and after they assembled the best reggae musicians in SoCal to eventually be the Volcanos, well, the rest is history. Beware is as authentic as you can get. Close your eyes, you hear the wind blowing through the trees and this band grooving in the background? You’ve got a cold Ting mixed with rum and you’re moving to the beat. It could be 1968, but it’s right now in 2021. And you’re in your living room listening to a record. That’s how powerful Beware is. This record takes you there. Well done Colemine for reissuing this required and must have recording. Reggae music remains alive and beautiful through bands like Jr. Thomas & the Volcanos. Out on Sept. 17th.