By: Jeremy Fleischer
Those old enough to go to parties in the ’90s have likely seen their share of bands like Rawtune. Amidst a thick haze of weed and Camel Light smoke, holding a PBR drawn from a free keg, we watched a parade of bands all inspired by the reggae rock of Sublime and 311. Those were good times.
If Rawtune had been around during this era, they likely would have been a solid headliner. And it’s hard not to imagine a live Rawtune performance today as a stoner dance fest, even if the audience is mostly new-to-Colorado bros. But the reggae-rock sound has not aged well, and the Rawtune album Cut the Leash, as a result, feels dated. This music live is likely super exciting, but recorded it falls a bit flat, one song bleeding into the bouncey next.
What saves the album, however, is Rawtune’s adherence to reggae as the root sound. They don’t meander off into hip-hop, or overstate that they can rock. Rawtune sings and performs reggae with confidence, and a bit of rock. Perhaps the ’90s are so far removed a whole new generation will discover the sweet spot when reggae meets rock. If so, Rawtune will be their band.