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Roofdog - Album Review: Roofdog

13 Aug 2010 // A review by River Tucker

Roofdog is a five-piece ska band from West Auckland and this self-titled album is the bands first release since forming in 1998. We really have been waiting a while for this one, however there's a marked difference between a band that is naturally tight because of countless practices and gigs and one that rushes to get something released without finding that X factor in the mix. And factor X is abundantly present on this CD. Although quintessentially ska, Roofdog play styles ranging from reggae to punk with hints of melodic blues and even surfer rock, covertly working their way under your skin until, before you know it, the dance floor has found your feet for a skanking good time.

Kicking off the CD with the song Slap On The Wrist, Roofdog's front man Jacob Toms voices decriminalisation sentiments and stamps the bands mark on their West Auckland party roots. The up-tempo song cleverly melds into a reggae half time feel which leads into the second song Why with it's swing like jam feel and then Timmy Blues with a sweet organ intro, the song swaps back and forth from blues to ska culminating in some tasty guitar breaks. The anti-establishment song Bomb is next and my pick for the best track on the CD with Metalliska and Rack a close second. Despite the controversial and thought provoking subject matter of some songs the CD is pretty uplifting with very danceable and catchy tunes well suited to having fun!

Just in case you were wondering or wanted a brief history lesson... ska music originated in Jamaica in the late 1950's predating reggae by about ten years and is predominated by phat walking bass lines and offbeat (skat!) guitar accents with rock steady rhythms on the downbeat, all of which Roofdog cleverly employ in an up tempo style similar to English ska bands (two tone ska) like the Specials and Madness, as well as third wave ska-core bands, the Uptones and the Boston Phoenix. The difference being Roofdog have keys instead of a dedicated brass section. Punk influences can pretty much be summed up by the band Rancid although I can hear Operation Ivy and even the Dead Kennedys in there; these musical influences are evident in Roofdog's debut album but do not define the bands original and well rounded sound.

Engineered by Tom Anderson and Lance Powell and mastered by Dr. Andrew Davenport at Edgeworth Studios, the resulting CD is professional and well packaged. It's a refreshingly energetic debut release by a band that has clearly paid their dues. The twelve-track album captures and does justice to Roofdog's live performance; go check it out.

About Roofdog

Roofdog were formed in 1998 by a group of disaffected west Auckland youths, eager to play music.

Sounding more like Rancid than the Specials Roofdog have a sound of their own, setting them apart & earning them new fans with every show. They have featured on two compilations by Indie label Puppy Killer Records 'Pick of the Litter Volume 1' (2003), & 'Pick of the Litter Volume 2' (2004) - and also appeared on Global Routes 'Underground Resistance' compilation.

Live shows continue to be a priority for the band with a regular feature being the annual Strummerday gig held every year to mark Joe Strummer’s birthday. Jordan Luck has appeared at this event with Roofdog and is now an enthusiastic fan and a great source of inspiration for the band.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Roofdog


Year: 2010
Type: Album

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