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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean


By Derek Beres
Published September 27, 2005

Pressure Points
Easy Star

This Ithaca-based, Jamaican-informed roots reggae band has been poised to break since 1996’s All Time. During the nine years since, they’ve released record after incredible record alongside a boggling tour schedule. Moving from their Shanachie home base to the creative Easy Star label, Pressure Points certainly hits the mark. While most albums have split time between vocalists Elliot Martin and Kevin Kinsella, Martin takes the lead on nine of the 12 tracks. Credit the band for allowing his innate sense of harmony with catchy, personal lyrics to dominate: the ragga swagger of “Blazing Love,” the upbeat “Resonate” and the gorgeous, midtempo “Follow Into Shadow.” Kinsella’s presence remains strong on the guitar work, as well as his stunning “Not Enough,” a melancholic slow-burner that’s equal parts ’60s R&B, ’70s lover’s rock and ’00s I-Town. Hanging on the fringes of the jamband and reggae scenes, JBB has carved out a niche completely unto themselves. Their patience, tempered with consistently stellar songwriting, is paying off beautifully.