Fifteen years after the death of lead singer and guitarist, Bradley Nowell, Sublime’s legacy will start a new chapter. Remaining members of the band, Bud Guagh and Eric Wilson have teamed up with singer and guitarist Rome Ramirez to start Sublime with Rome. After touring extensively during 2009 and 2010, the band has released their first album together, Yours Truly.
As a whole, I was pleasantly surprised with Sublime with Rome’s first project. Although some of the reggae sounds more pop like and generic than Sublime did, there are some very high points on this album.
Yours Truly starts off with a bang. “Panic” is a classic example of what I love about the original Sublime. The song starts off very fast, mixing both clean and distorted guitar tones, but then in the middle, it slows down and becomes a catchy, sing-along reggae tune. The arrangement of the song reminds me very much of “Seed”, by Sublime. Another highlight of the album is “Murdera.” This reggae song proves that Guagh and Wilson still got it as they keep the great beats going. In addition, the DJ scratching fills add a hip-hop element to the song. The very next song, “My World” is one of my favorites on the album. Ramirez’s vocals in this song gives me hope that he may be able to bring some of the energy that Nowell did to the live show. If not this song, then “Paper Cuts” will be able to get the crowd going. This punk song has a very catchy chorus and it really shows you all sides of Ramirez’s great voice. Later on in the album, Ramirez breaks out the acoustic guitar for songs like “PCH”, “Same Old Situation”, and “Spun”. While they do have a different feel than Sublime, these are all great songs and are sure to become summer classics. Next comes one of my favorite songs off of Yours Truly, “You Better Listen.” With some amazing guitar riffs and solos, the drums, bass, and guitar working perfectly together during the verse, and the female back-up singers in the chorus, this song seems to have it all. Yours Truly finishes off with “Can You Feel It” featuring rapper, Wiz Khalifa. It wasn’t my favorite song on the album, but Wiz Khalifa did add something different to the album.
The only thing I feel the debut album of Sublime with Rome is missing is a dub song. Sublime had made some great dub tracks and it would have been great to see Sublime with Rome carry on that tradition. But all in all, Yours Truly is a very strong album. Ramirez is a very talented musician, and Guagh and Wilson proved that they haven’t lost a single thing since they started Sublime back in 1988. Without Nowell, it’s definitely not the Sublime we are used to, but as Ramirez stated, “It will sound like Sublime, but for a new generation.”