DUB WAR To Release First Album Of New Material In Over 25 Years
March 3, 2022
Fusion metal pioneers DUB WAR have released their brand new rousing single "Blackkk Man", the first single off of their first album of all-new material in over 25 years, "Westgate Under Fire". Watch the new lyric video here.
The track packs a punch with jagged guitar, furious rhythms and tough vocals from founder and frontman Benji Webbe (who many will also recognize as the mighty SKINDRED's lead singer). Released in the midst of the celebration of Black History Month in the U.S., "Blackkk Man" is a furious revolt against racism and a bleak reflection of crucial events from this decade in particular, including the murder of George Floyd.
Says Webbe: "This song is exactly how I was feeling at the time of Mr. Floyd's murder. This is a cry from my heart for equal rights and justice — and the other boys in the band feel the same as I do. No one chooses the skin they're in. Should the skin you're in help you to win? It's a question we all need to think about. This racist injustice has been going on way too long and, unfortunately, even with all the cries and the pain, it still continues."
The accompanying lyric video, compiled and edited by Aran Webster, serves to drive the critical message contained in the lyricism of "Blackkk Man" further, putting society's outrageous double standards in plain sight via news footage and articles.
A thought-provoking statement song, "Blackkk Man" and the album it resides on launches DUB WAR back into the industry as the band who turned heads with their groundbreaking genre-bending once more. Alongside this potent punk rock-laced track, "Westgate Under Fire" offers up dance infused metal, ragga-punk and sinister metal with exotic beats.
A band born and raised in Newport, "Westgate Under Fire" shines a light on a crucial event in their hometown's history, the Newport Uprising. An event which would play a role in transforming democracy in Britain and the world, the uprising in 1839 saw thousands from the Chartist movement march through south Wales, seeking social reform, including the right for men of all classes to vote. The marches ended in a bloody battle at the Westgate Hotel, which saw many of the Chartists dead or wounded. "Westgate Under Fire" aims to embody the empowerment that Chartists took upon themselves and coincides with the local community resurrecting the derelict Westgate Hotel into an exciting new venue.
"Westgate Under Fire" will be released on August 5 via Earache Records. It is available for pre-order worldwide on signed, limited-edition colored vinyl, black vinyl, signed CD and limited cassette.
Webbe says: "Although I'm in SKINDRED, DUB WAR has always been very dear to my heart. The pandemic and lockdown gave me a lot of time to write with [original members] Richie [Glover, bass] and Jeff [Rose, guitar]. We played a few reunion shows before COVID hit, and the shows felt so good, so we began to write some new DUB WAR songs."
While fellow Newport resident and good friend Mikee "Krupa" Gregory took to the skins for many of the album's tracks, "Westgate Under Fire" sees six different drummers offer their rhythm-keeping for the album.
"Adding six different drummers from around the world was a very exciting prospect for us," enthuses Benji. "Each drummer was a friend and a fan of DUB WAR who brought their own unique blend, and has made this album probably the most entertaining to date, with each track taking you on a sonic journey."
The scenes from which these drummers and the album's other guest musicians come from are as far-reaching as DUB WAR's sound, with the album welcoming STONE SOUR's Roy Mayorga, FAITH NO MORE's Mike Bordin, SNOT's Mikey Doling and Jamie Miller, IN FLAMES' Tanner Wayne, ILL NIÑO's Dave Chavarri, KILLING JOKE's Spike T Smith, alongside ska legend Ranking Roger. "Westgate Under Fire" also features a host of good friends behind the mixing desk: Richard "Action" Jackson (who produced the majority of the album),the late Grammy-nominated Rick Will ("Rick was an amazing vibe master," says Benji),Lord Hagos (SENSER, LODESTAR) and Bryan "Chuck" New.
"The album was written over lockdown in 2020 and recorded at each of the bandmembers' home studios," says Benji. "What made it special was having Richard 'Action' Jackson mixing it.
"As difficult as the period was in which we recorded the album, we still kept the vibes rocking and the energy on each track bouncing. It's definitely been a party of bridge building, love and helping each other keep sane in such a harsh time for musicians and performers."
"Westgate Under Fire" track listing:
01. Blackkk Man 02. War Inna Babylon 03. Vibes In The Place 04. Art Of War 05. Reveal It 06. Mary Shelley 07. Bite Back 08. Coffin Lid 09. Crying Clowns 10. Get Back Up 11. Fun Done 12. Stay Together 13. Celtic Cross
DUB WAR is:
* Benjii Webbe (vocalist / frontman) * Richie Glover (bassist) * Jeff Rose (guitarist)
* Mikee "Krupa" Gregory (drummer) * Spike T Smith (guest drummer, "Art Of War") * Mike Bordin (guest drummer, "Get Back Up") * Roy Mayorga (guest drummer, "Reveal It") * Tanner Wayne (guest drummer, "Celtic Cross") * Ranking Roger (guest vocalist, "War Inna Babylon") * Dave Chavarri (guest drummer, "Bite Back") * Jamie Miller (guest drummer, "Crying Clowns") * Mikey Doling (guest guitarist, "Crying Clowns")