new music: liontribe finds the right mix of punk energy and reggae on ‘love & rock & roll’ #soundcheck

June 13, 2014

f you start off a record with a song called “Revolution” you better have something to say. Fortunately, Liontribe’s debut LP Love & Rock & Roll is overflowing with ideas. Their mix of rock, reggae, and funk brings them oddly into post-punk territory without sounding like the 80,000th band to name-check Joy Division in the past decade. Particularly on “Let’s Talk Again,” singer Rodney Victor Williams explodes, as if the mere melody can’t contain his energy. “Revolver” finds the band tearing themselves up at the seams. Far too often, reggae and funk inspired bands obsess over technical precision to the point of being boring. While Liontribe’s members are clearly technically skilled, especially drummer Richard DJ Platinum, the band’s willingness to play fast and loose gives their music a dynamic that’s propulsive.

Words by Nathan Leigh, AFROPUNK Contributor

Click here to listen if you’re on a mobile device

The band packs their music with rapid tempo shifts and left turns. On “Opium,” they build from reggae groove to Zeppelin-inspired breakdown to a garage blues chorus. Half the fun of Liontribe’s music is the fact that they keep one step ahead of the listener at all times. Since the early days of the reggae-punk alliance, bands have often picked one or the other to the detriment of both, drawing a hard line between their reggae songs and their punk rock songs. Liontribe draws no such line, instead playing reggae rhythms with a manic punk energy. This music is alive.

Liontribe’s profile on