Getting tired of the election season? Now that the debates and their respective drinking games are over, it's high time for a new political coping mechanism. I call it the mute-the-ads-and-crank-Chele-Bandulu approach.
There's nothing negative or partisan about it; Missoula's six-piece reggae band brings summer back to your ears on its first full-length album. The classic upstroke guitar rhythms and three-part harmonies show a mastery of the Caribbean sound and transport you to a sun-soaked beacheven as the lyrics speak of proletariat struggles. Initially repetitive, the vocals begin to wash over you like a gentle tide, as Matthew Keenan sings, "There's got to be something more out there for me/ I must be free." What sound like wind chimes and distant steel drums add another layer to the soundscape. If, by the last track, you're not nodding "aww yeah," then you missed the boat. Although the album is well produced, it shouldn't be your only relationship with the band. There's so much energy in this music that's just waiting to be unleashed on stage to a hungry audience.
Meanwhile, keep the album handy as an antidote. The next time Romney tries to tell you he's not the devil during your favorite programming, cue up "Rich Man Poor Land" and relax.
Chele Bandulu plays a CD-release party Sat., Nov. 3, at The Top Hat. 9 PM. $3.