I admit it, im a music snob, the more obscure something is the higher the chances are I will like it. It may be silly but it comes with collecting music, one of the groups that has had us snobs salivating is “The Viceroys” who besides being talented like crazy for the longest where obscure and “out-of-print”. Last year “Pressure sounds” re-released their best album “Get to know” and now “Iroko” treats us with a new, freshly made album produced by “vintage-reggae prodigy” Roberto Sanches, to say im exited is an understatement. They may have started out as an “Rocksteady” act on “Studio One” but they really came in their own in the late 70ies as an “Roots Reggae” vocal trio, produced by guys like Phil Pratt and later Linval Thompson.
If you’re into Roots harmonies and that classic 70ies sound you will be in heaven. This does not sound like an new album, taken out of context u would believe it’s a set of unreleased tracks from back in the days. It starts in a big way with “Memories” who sounds like it could come str8 out of their “Detour” album which happen to be one of my all time favorite albums. It has a hint of melancholy although it’s rather upbeat and deals with how they cant forget their roots and all what that comes with. When listening to this song my jaw hits the floor in a way it rarely does, this sounds so late 70ies/early 80ies it’s insane, I just cant believe it’s a new track. As this is a “showcase album” it’s followed by the dub. This would be the only issue I would really have with the album, im not a super huge fan of dub. Still, it’s not really a complaint, it’s just me not being into dub too much.
It follows with “Ya hoo, pt.2” which kinda fleshes out the pirate theme a lil bit more. Im glad they did not just copy the sound of the first tune, this really is a song with it’s own merits, it just has the same theme as the previous cut. While not being a favorite on the album it’s still another outstanding song. Skipping a track we come to another one of my favorites on here “Dj clashing” an personal observation on an soundclash that ended in an dramatic way. I really like how Jamaicans take things that happen to them and turn em into songs in a way more direct way than Reggae artists from other countries would, this tune has some great storytelling.
Excluding the dub cuts there are 2 more songs on here, the love song “All I need” and “Shake” who is offering some hard criticism on todays society and the way Babylon run it. I could spend an eternity praising this album and use every superlative there is but you will just have to trust me; This is an outstanding album. I would not say it’s the album of the year though, this is the album of the last few years, I can’t remember last time I liked an new album the way I like this. I did mention that it’s an showcase album and there is a bunch of dubs, im not going to get into them that much but I would say it rivals any dub “Roots Radics” ever did. Us fans have to rush and buy our copies, let’s buy 2 copies each so that producers will fight over releasing their music. We need more Viceroys music, much, much more.