This is a controversial record from the get go. I mean, there are so many people who didn’t think Sublime would ever even think of going on without Bradley Nowell (if you live under a rock, he passed away of an overdose in 1996). Then in 2009, they reunited with new singer Rome Ramirez at the Smokeout Festival hosted by Cypress Hill, but a Los Angeles judge ruled that they cannot perform under the name Sublime, so they decided to go on as Sublime With Rome. They released their debut album Yours Truly on July 12th to the surprise of fans everywhere. Personally, I support this. I mean, the other two members are just as much of a part of Sublime as the late Bradley, so why can’t they perform under the name if they want? They even got original sax player Todd Forman on board as well. I don’t think they could’ve found a better frontman than Ramirez either.
The album’s first single “Panic” is played a little faster but transitions to slower parts for the bridges. The best part is that while this is an uncommonly fast track, it still sounds distinctly like Sublime and can’t be confused with other bands. The familiar guitar tones, the sax placement in the song, and the easygoing drums is the old Sublime, and then you’ve got Ramirez who sounds very much like Nowell (though not an exact copy or anything like that) and helps bring the life back.
“Only” goes right back into Sublime’s most familiar territory, and that’s to make some damn good, laid back stoner music. This will be a track that people will be singing along to and is welcome to add into any person’s catalog of ska music. The drums throughout the entire album have moved up into the overall sound instead of being in the back of the guitars and vocals.
“Murdera” is easily the best track on the album and should rightfully be the next single. I love the guitars that really set the mood, the drums keeping the music going, and the vocals playing a prominent role. It’s another easygoing track and definitely has a lot of appeal. If anyone still has any doubts about Sublime, then this is the track that will win them over.
“Paper Cuts” is the first pure punk song and really changes everything about the record. It’s very raw yet polished and almost sounds like a refined demo track instead of a cleanly recorded track like the rest of the album. It’s not anything complicated to play, and the vocals have a sort of echo that is present on other demo tracks I’ve heard over the years. The guitars are muddled yet sound polished, and it sounds like the drums were the only thing that were recorded in the studio. Ramirez can really belt out these tunes when he wants to.
“PCH” is another instant classic. It seems as though this entire album is full of awesome tracks that really stand out on their own and can really boost these guys to the top once again. The guitars are just a tad too loud, but it’s a very minor inconvenience and can be easily overlooked. It’s a slightly fast ska song that is mostly a lower tempo, if that makes any sense.
I would recommend buying this album no matter what. I was not disappointed at all and I know that some of these songs will take you back to the 90s and make you want to whip out the old Sublime songs.