San Diego progressive reggae band Project: Out of Bounds (POB) is celebrating a decade of music with their new EP, Sounds of Revolution. Over the years, POB has made a name for themselves touring up and down the west coast, promoting their self-proclaimed “dark reggae” sound: roots, dancehall, California and New Zealand reggae, intersecting with millennium metal, 90’s hip-hop, prog-rock, and electronica. With such an eclectic blend, it’s easy to decipher why the POB boys landed on the band name they did; it’s not just ‘out of bounds’ when it comes to their music – POB wants to move through the bounds, or just erase boundaries altogether.
POB declares that the future will only be prosperous if people embrace the outside the box.
Following their 2009 debut full-length self-titled album, POB released a sophomore EP in 2014 entitled Love Tone. Now three years later, POB is premiering Sounds of Revolution – a four-track EP with some all star names attached! Featured on the album is Karim Israel of Arise Roots, Nathan Feinstein of Iya Terra, and the reggae legend himself, Mr. Pato Banton, not to mention a producer credit to the one and only E.N Young (formerly of Tribal Seeds and Stranger). With their EP release party at 710 Beach Club reaching maximum capacity last weekend, POB is making it known that they’re back to change the game.
Sounds of Revolution centers on the notion that we, as humans, are stronger in numbers. From the first track to the end, POB preaches that it’s time to stand up and not just overcome, but graduate to the next level. Life is about the connections we make, the knowledge we acquire, and the choice to push the envelope, so why are we treading water in this day and age? Just like their mixed sound, POB declares that the future will only be prosperous if people embrace the outside the box. The EP starts off with “Soldja”, a whopping 6-minute track featuring Israel and Banton. Are you a “soldja”, or are you a “slave?” Asks POB. Chances are you’re the latter if you sit around and let the world dictate to you the status quo. The song calls for rebel hearts of the world to band together in solidarity, to “light a fire that will soon blaze free”… and, they’re right: with such dry and heated conditions throughout the world today concerning politics, media, third-world poverty-stricken countries, and first-world citizens regressing more and more into bigotry, someone needs to initiate a strike – to strike the first match, and let a wildfire cleanse the land. Radical thoughts have the power to blaze out of control, and burn down the evil we’ve built up in our society. You can only fight fire with fire, and after the ash dies down, regeneration can take place. Let us regrow the establishment. Let us “teach the youth” in order for future generations to be set free. All power for the people. That was a main slogan of the Black Panther Party back in the early 1970’s, when war, corruption, racism were making brother turn on brother; POB praises the Black Panthers on their EP album cover, with their large logo placed over the earth. But, before you write off POB for drawing inappropriate parallels, ask yourself, are the reasons behind hate crimes and violence that much different nowadays than they were back then? Aren’t we still fighting a futile, messy fight?
Project: Out of Bounds prides themselves on their use of multi-media to display their art, including music videos and other forms of visual displays. They even have a robot. With that in mind, it’s only a matter of time before Sounds of Revolution breaches alternative mediums in the form of videos and more. The new EP is now available for download on all major digital outlets, and for more information on POB, their music, or their forward-thinking movement, visit www.projectoutofbounds.com. See highlights from their 710 Beach Club EP Release Party below, with direct support from DUBBEST:
Photography by Leucadia Bob of SoCal Reggae.
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Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.