Who’s ready for an all-new Project: Out of Bounds? For those in the American reggae scene, it would be a crime if you don’t know P.O.B. by now… These hardworking San Diego boys have been there from the birth of reggae rock’s popularity, particularly in southern California, with their first two albums in 2008 and 2009. By 2010, P.O.B. was a well-known entity of San Diego nightlife, playing alongside recognized reggae rock bands at the time, like Seedless, 80 Proof, The StirCrazies, Sunny Rude, Product, Reeform and so many others; unlike the aforementioned, P.O.B. is still around and kickin’. It’s hard to make it over the early-adopter hump of any trend and P.O.B. is a testament to that kind of perseverance.
As of last year, P.O.B. began remaking some of their early tunes, claiming that the production quality should’ve been better from the start. Makes sense… modern music technology is way more advanced now than it was in 2009. Thus, P.O.B. pumped out reboots for “Wildman” and “Fire” at E.N Young‘s Imperial Sound Recording Studio, continuing the band’s relationship with Young’s Roots Musician Records since recording their Songs of Revolution EP back in 2017. The songs stuck to their rootsy reggae roots albeit a more polished sound. Now partnering with the band’s trumpet player, Mister Midnight, P.O.B. adopts a sophisticated electronic stance for four more previously released singles in a brand new EP.
The collaboration, dubbed P.O.B. vs Mister Midnight, is a P.O.B. a game-changer.
Let us elaborate. For those unbeknownst of Project: Out of Bounds, the band has always had a robot mascot. It dances onstage at shows and has walked around Cali Roots as a photo-op — don’t quote us, but we believe that was Year Three? That said, the band has yet to include a robotic edge into their music, always siding on the roots, dub, reggae sound rather than any EDM. Not anymore. P.O.B. vs Mister Midnight finally embraces the robot, incorporating reverberating synths, vocal overlays and electro breakdowns to push their agenda forward. This EP is quite possibly the first true expression of the band since its origin.
The futuristic reboot begins with a revamp of P.O.B.’s 2009 single “Disc Junkies”. With muffled, almost metallic vocals, the track has a much more melodic trajectory — specifically, in the guitar parts. Staying true to its dubby essence, “Disc Junkies” 2.0 adds hypnotic instrumentals that mesh well with its original psychedelia. Next up is the lead single off the EP and a remake of the band’s 2017 single “Strong Survive”. Additional keys up the somber tonality, yet, at the same time, make the whole feel more ethereal. Also simultaneous is a fast and slow beat overlaid on top of each other, disorienting the listener as if tripping through a time and space continuum. In other words, this single is HOT. Following in the same vein is “Robot”, a fresh take on the song originally featured on P.O.B.’s self-titled 2009 album. Howls of werewolves and maniacal laughter are wrapped around lyrics like “the pain inside my head” and “can I get a witness for this bloodshed”. The robot has become self-aware. The EP ends with a modern take on 2017’s “Soldja”. The OG version, featuring Pato Banton and Karim Israel (of Arise Roots), is a march for all the soldier’s of Jah’s army and the new 2020 version only amps up the urgency. If there was ever a time to band together for human rights, now is the time.
P.O.B. vs Mister Midnight is now available on all digital outlets, not to mention the music video for “Strong Survive”! Tune into the streams below and don’t forget to follow this legacy band on all social media platforms.
Purchase or stream ‘P.O.B. vs Mister Midnight’ EP:
- Disc Junkies
- Strong Survive
P.O.B. vs Mister Midnight – “Strong Survive” music video:
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.