Ruder Than You | Philly Stylee

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United States - Pennsylvania

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Reggae: Ska Reggae: Dancehall Moods: Mood: Party Music
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Philly Stylee

by Ruder Than You

Long awaited third CD featuring modern ska, reggae, and hip hop sounds.
Genre: Reggae: Ska
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Intro
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1:11 $0.99
2. On A String
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2:48 $0.99
3. Reggae Rub-A-Dub Rock
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2:55 $0.99
4. Cool For Cats
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3:17 $0.99
5. Meet The Beat
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2:19 $0.99
6. Philly Stylee
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7:39 $0.99
7. Taxman
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4:10 $0.99
8. Offer You Can't Refuse
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3:17 $0.99
9. Pussy Cat's Revenge
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3:06 $0.99
10. Reprise
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5:28 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
RUDER THAN YOU was founded in 1989 by five students at Penn State University who relocated to Philadelphia in 1991. Long known as Philly’s top ska band, Ruder Than You’s identity has never fit too neatly into any of the generic ska categorizations. While ska and reggae stylings have always provided the common musical thread, over the past 18+ years they've been mixing in dancehall reggae, hip-hop, rocksteady, and rub-a-dub, even adding elements of funk, jazz, and punk - to create their own unique sound. The consistent factor however is the band’s energy and enthusiasm, which inevitably pulls people out onto the dance floor.

Independent ska label Moon Records, a.k.a. MoonSKA NYC, put out the band’s debut album, Big Step in 1992 and its follow-up Horny for Ska in 1996. By the mid 90s the group had morphed from a five-piece into a nine-piece outfit and captured a passionate, loyal following in the Philly and New York areas, selling out shows regularly. The group toured nationally, regularly opening up for groups like the Skatalites, Steel Pulse, 311, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Blink 182, Desmond Dekker, Ziggy Marley, English Beat, Bouncing Souls, Bad Manners, Fishbone, Yellowman, Eek a Mouse, No Doubt and countless others. Ruder CDs were released in Japan and England, and songs can be found on dozens of compilation CDs far and wide.

In 2005 the band self-released their long-awaited third album, PHILLY STYLEE on their own God's Ghetto label. Philly Stylee was recorded in spurts during the Third Wave ska heyday between 1996 and 1999 with final vocal overdubs and mixes completed in 2004. Philly jazz trumpeter extraordinaire, John Swana appears on several tracks. The CD was excruciatingly long in the making for many reasons, not the least of which included the demise of the band’s label Moon, a 3-year incarceration of lead singer and toaster Freddie 3D Weaver, and the death of bari-sax player Trish Johnson. Despite these obstacles, after taking a nearly 3-year hiatus, the band started back up in 2003 and completed the CD that even the most hopeful fans had given up on.

The band’s subsequent release (available on CD Baby) is the 5-song EP entitled GOD’S GHETTO (May 2008).

The band’s current roster of veteran members includes the Round Mound of Dub Sound - singer Freddie Weaver. Band leader Doug Dubrosky still sings and plays tenor sax. He and Don Pancoe on bass hail from the earliest days of RTY. Rod Martino and Chris Klimchak fill out the lineup on guitar and trombone, respectively. Larry "Ace" Snell of the Toasters and Public Service sits on the drum throne.


Reviews


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It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Ruder Than You. It’s certainly refreshing to hear their brand of Reggae, Ska, Pornofunk return. Philly Stylee immediatly reminds us that these guys are all top flight musicians with an airtight rythm section, smooth, crisp drums, clean backbeat guitars, and crescendo building vocals. The horns in RTY are what really stands out, creating that seedy 70’s streaky background, and giving depth to all of their grooves. The track “Philly Stylee” introduces us to the psychedelic side of RTY. Their cover of “Tax Man” is also a standout, being vocally dominated with an infectious hook. The thing that makes this CD so enjoyable is that, while busy, it never seems like overkill. Nothing is out of place. To me it sounds like Toots & the Maytalls get into a rumble withUrban Dance Squad. While not re-inventing the wheel, Philly Stylee will give any groove junkie the fix they’ve needed that is missing from other CD’s in this genre.

Dominic Sacco

It's this kind of effortless style that Ruder Than You produces, which makes the
With so many local ska-punk bands emerging, what of the original genre that is ska? Blend it with reggae and a bit of rocksteady and you get Ruder Than You, a group ready to get ska the respect it deserves, with a fulfilling third album.

After an intro that’s bound to get the room up and listening, ‘On A String’ is the first happy, uplifting genre-blending tune of this album designed to set the pace and show you what the band can do. But ‘Reggae Rub-A-Dub Rock’ is the one you don’t want to miss. With it’s fast vocals, easy listening riffs and magical rapping you can’t fail to dislike it. It shouts audacious and composed at the listener, while Ruder Than You keep their cool, all the way through this record.

Thankfully, this is an album that doesn’t back down half way through – title track ‘Philly Stylee’ is seven smooth minutes of slow, soulful ska and oozes charm with sleek, whispery vocals that entice you to move to it; “This is a test to do your best on the dance floor.” It’s this kind of effortless style that Ruder Than You produces, which makes them sound just, damn cool – as the well-implemented cover ‘Cool For Cats’ suggests. More juiciness awaits you from the near perfect catchy single ‘Taxman’ and upbeat, more technical number ‘Offer You Can’t Refuse.’

The last two tracks provide more listening pleasure with an awesome instrumental complete with screeching ‘Meows’ and delightful brass tunes. ‘Reprise’ is an experimental hip-hop rock synth crossover with repeated hooks and heavier guitars to add some spicy variety. Not all these songs will be to everyone’s tastes however, but for sitting back and lazing out this CD is the perfect accompaniment to such an occasion. The song writing could have been a little smarter so I feel the record is let down slightly from a few mediocre tracks. It’s nice how the tracks are linked lyrically though, for example track three’s “Don’t give me the rock just gimme the reggae “ to ‘Reprise’s “Reggae rub-a-dub come down.” This will grow on you so give it a chance, put on your trilby hat and enjoy.

Standout Tracks: ‘Reggae Rub-A-Dub Rock’, ‘Philly Stylee’, ‘Taxman’ & ‘Pussy Cat’s Revenge’

Replay-0-Meter: 8
Production: 7
Songwriting: 9
Lyricism: 7
Artwork: 7

Matt Kremkau

One of the best Ruder Than You records to date.
With a long hiatus, lead singer Freddie Weaver incarcerated, and the downfall of Ska, Ruder Than You are back with a third installment "Philly Stylee." Recorded in between 1996- 1999, the final mix was finished in 2004, and here you have one of the best Ruder Than You records to date. 10 tracks of fun, jamming Philly Ska with duel vocals by Freddie "3D" Weaver and Tenor Sax/Vocalist Doug Dubrosky, is nice to hear and refreshing in a music scene full of dopes that have dumb haircuts and sing like wieners. Getting the record done was a huge ordeal, mixed in with tragedy, by losing Saxophonist Trish Johnson to a car accident in 1998. If you are missing Ska & Ska that makes you jump up and down, skank, whatever... Than why wait, go and get the newest Ruder Than You record.

Bottom Line? Long hiatus, but RTY are back in full form and look forward to hearing more from them for a long time.

Notable Tracks: On A String, Offer You Can't Refuse, Reggae Rub-A-Dub, Taxman, Cool For Cats