Like what New Orleans is to jazz, or Seattle was to grunge, Southern California as of late has been the absolute hub of reggae rock. With an abundance of artists originating from SoCal, it is undeniably difficult to break out as a band and differentiate yourself from the rest.
Krooked Treez debut album Higher Place has the precise formula and positioned themselves to break out and head straight to the top. Tracks on Higher Place are taut and concise, built around churning, sprawling riffs that feel extremely refined with the deep foundations of “Cali Reggae” intertwined with a distinct hip hop influence. If a visual is what you need, think Cypress Hill meets Steel Pulse for the ultimate reggae hip hop fusion band.
Krooked Treez “So In Love with California” music video
think Cypress Hill meets Steel Pulse for the ultimate reggae hip hop fusion band
This combination makes Higher Place an outright pleasure to listen to and gives Cali Reggae a much deserved fresh sound and pushes the envelope that much further. The entire album from start to finish is much like a roller coaster ride in respect to the easing in and anticipation versus excitement. To paint this picture, the intro to the album will gracefully ease you into the overall album tone, setting up for the next few songs. From there, reaching the seventh track titled “7 Signs,” which is a dub style track lets that lets you kick back and enjoy the view from atop. The anticipation sets in after the last few seconds of “7 Signs”, where the next song leading up to the last track is pure excitement.
The tracks on Higher Place utilizes a sound that no one should take lightly, considering the extreme intensity of the vocal styles of O Brown and BZ-Bwai which would legitimately bring down the house of any venue. Both singers and band have gotten so versed in their mixture of Cali Reggae and flourishes of West Coast hip hop—transitions they make with a masterful precision—that even a first listen will make a track feel like a breathe of fresh air.
No one will come away from this album doubting the natural talent of Krooked Treez.
- Conscious Manifesto
- Irie Radio
- Better Days
- Higher Place
- So In Love With California
- Krooked Treez
- 7 Signs
- Ocean View (LA Version)
- Till The End
- Ocean View (Miami Version)
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Released July 2013
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.