Fear Nuttin Band
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Fear Nuttin Band

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The best kept secret in music

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Obviously I needed a song to go with my Good Read Pot Culture. Come on.
Fear Nuttin' Band is a "reggae-influenced hardcore rock band" (I know, it took me a while to get around that one too) from Kingston, Jamaica and Springfield, Illinois. I was going to put one of their songs on 5 Songs that Don't Suck, but then I went on their MySpace and found "Can't Get Mi Weed," and decided it would be much more appropriate for the mini post-420 celebration that I've got going on here.
But again, I don't condone that sort of activity. Just sayin. In case you needed reading music.
- Giant Magazine


What do you do if you have an eclectic range in musical tastes? You're a metal head and a rastaman, all wrapped into one half-shaved head of jah-lovin dreads. Sometimes you want to skank to some reggae, rockers or roots style, yet you still want it vicious and aggressive. Other times you want some metal, but a little different than whatever "core" is the vomit- throated sound of the moment.

You want to rock and you want to reggae. You want some Yardcore.

For years bands have been trying to find the right balance between skanking reggae and slam pit rock. Some come from the rock side, adding flourishes of reggae like Bad Brains, Skindred, Dub War, even the Police. Others, like Peter Broggs or Eddy Grant come from the reggae side, adding heavy metal guitar to the mix of their roots stylin. The results of these experiments are sometimes more successful than others, I'll let you be the judge. But I will tell you one band that found that magic mix.

Fear Nuttin Band, FNB, is headbanging, deep roots reggae, with enough Jah to chill to in your hammock with a cold one and enough metallic crunch and riff to knock at least three cervical vertebrae out of place.

This is reggae rock, roots metal, or rasta-core. Whatever you want to call it, it's pretty fucking amazing. Now, anyone who's read my Puya review know that I give respect to any band that can successfully mix up the metal sound, throwing their own texture into the recipe, but I gotta tell you, reggae's a hard one. By it's very herbed-out nature, roots reggae has got to be about as polar opposite as possible to metal, in mood, message, tone and aggression. Balancing these two dissimilar styles into one cohesive whole requires some pretty special musicians and a little something extra, some added musical spice, to make the whole thing simmer together into something tasty.

Fortunately, FNB got it all. Chris Regan and Jay Chung mangle their guitars as ferociously as any metal band, with the chops to speed it up, rough it up, or drop it down at the drop of dreadlock tam. Produced by Terry Date (Deftones, Pantera, Soundgarden) I hear traces of P.O.D. and Papa Roach here. Drummer Matt Penza and bassist Brian Daigle, the heart and soul rhythm section of any reggae band, fuse seamlessly between dub style and metal, pulverizing you one moment, throwing in Island texture the next, something I didn't think was humanly possible. And then, there's that something special.

FNB features not one, but two authentic reggae lead vocalists, and it's the dynamism of the vocal interplay between Roosta's more Dennis Brown smooth roots style and Prowla's gruffer, Burning Spear toasting baritone that drive these songs. This is fierce reggae metal, brimming with intensity and power, grooving to a reggae beat with enough crunch to still rip the pores from your face.

"Enemy" launches this beast off, as mean and ferocious as any hardcore, pounding and thudding for four minutes while Roosta and Prowla skank and toast, the band going ballistic behind them. "Rule the World," ranks as the highlight here, a perfect blend of pulverizing metal, feedback screeching at the end of the chords, and the most singable reggae chorus I've heard since Black Uhuru. Either one of these guys could lead their own rasta band, their voices are so strong, but together, with the band lighting sticks of dynamite behind them, it's explosive.

"Dun Di Place," is a mosh pit waiting to happen cut in pieces by some deep bottomed dub breakdowns. As you would expect from a song titled, "Police State," this mid-tempo fierce rocker takes no prisoners, a street riot captured in four minutes of pounding metal and toasting. Then, just when you think you've got the boys's style pegged,"Pon Di Block," breaks it all down, Rootsa and Prowla digging deeper into their roots-style for a slower paced roots number, Roosta voice floating in and out of the chorus, while Prowla brings on the deeper end. From there, there's just no letting up. "Vibes,""Runaway," and "Fears,' will all keep the masses smashing each other with flying elbows and knees, while "Can't Get Me Weed," "Real Music," and "Friends," bring on the more melodic island vibe without ever losing their groove.

Now, if it seems like I'm just going on and on, well, I am. It's been a long time since I've had this much fun with a new metal band, most bands satisfied recycling old Sabbath riffs, the same blast beats, or spewing out their vocals as if they were hawking phlegm from a diseased lung. And to successfully fuse two of my favorite musics, straight up roots-style with the demolishing muscle of metal, I feel like a kid discovering Reese's peanut butter cups for the first time, "Peanut Butter and Chocolate? In the same candy bar? Holy fuck!" On their CD cover, the boys have a saying. "Unify the Music, unify the people." Well, just sign me up.

--Racer
- The Ripple Effect


Discography

First release Yardcore released in 2008

Photos

Bio

Some bands have coined themselves as revolutionary, but Fear Nuttin Band is evolutionary. With their musical roots fusing the intensity of metal, the rhythm of Jamaican dance hall and the social consciousness of hip hop, this band is defining a genre.

The Fear Nuttin Band sound is as diverse as the cultures the band members represent. The hot West Indian sun incubated the talents of frontmen Roosta (vocals), Prowla (vocals) and Jay Chung (guitar), while instrumentalists Matt Penza (drums), Chris Regan (guitar), Brian Daigle (bass) represent New England’s finest. The union of these six individuals was in the stars: with Chris, Jay, Penza and Brian lending their musical talents to heavy bands all over the Pioneer Valley, the four always found themselves in and out of bands together. It was the same day that Matt, Chris and Brian found themselves without a frontman that Roosta and Prowla called up and asked them to jam. These final Fear Nuttin Band members have been together since.

Much can be said about their home of Springfield, Massachusetts, and its reputation for breeding original artists and ideas. Put on the map for growing groundbreaking entertainers from the powerful reggae dynasty that is the Morgan Heritage, to the mixed melodies of one of the country’s biggest new rock acts Staind, the metal onslaught of Shadows Fall, and All That Remains, Springfield has become a musical hotbed. Fear Nuttin Band took the area by storm with their infamous live shows, and became hometown heroes when they were awarded wins in the Valley Advocate Grand Band Slam four years in a row, taking home the honors for best new band, best new reggae/ska band, and best party band.

Most recently, Fear Nuttin Band triumphantly competed in the nationwide Bodog Music Battle of the Bands, making them Boston’s champions and landing them a recording contract with Bodog Music. Fans watched as Fear Nuttin Band trekked the nation on the Bodog Battle reality TV series, winning the hearts and respect of their competitors and fans, and becoming a favorite among esteemed judges Johnny Rotten, Bif Naked and Billy Duffy. Fear Nuttin Band victoriously returned for the explosive Bodog Battle finale as the Alternative Press Magazine’s popular vote-back winner. Kevin Lyman, founder of the Warped Tour, told the band once, “All you need is one man to believe in this band and the rest is history.” Bodog Music’s founder Calvin Ayre is that man. Calvin was so excited about the public’s response to Fear Nuttin Band that even though they had been previously voted out of the competition, he made them a part of the Bodog Music roster alongside the Bodog Battle winners.

With their musical credo “Unify the Music, Unify the People,” the band has embarked on a musical mission. They have developed a worldwide following due in part to their unique sound, but also because of their diehard work ethic. Live, Fear Nuttin Band are an unforgettable force that draws audiences into the stage swagger of two of today’s most charismatic frontmen, Roosta and Prowla. Because of the band’s unique charisma and energy, they’ve played over 500 sold-out shows and toured the nation with the likes of Toots and the Maytals, Blink 182, Buju Banton, Green Day, Morgan Heritage, Fishbone, and graced several stages on the Vans Warped Tour. All this, plus the band has released several independent EPs, and developed their own merchandise line.

In 2007 Fear Nuttin Band linked up with famed producer Terry Date (The Deftones, Pantera, White Zombie, Korn) to take the reins on their Bodog Music debut record titled Yardcore. The album captures their infectious, energetic live performance while highlighting the vocalists’ phonetic banter and melodic verses. A mix of reggae, dance hall, and hard, heavy rock, the album is a progressive body of work. Peppered with political statements, the singers bare their souls through every track and speak of their personal values and beliefs. Yardcore is a crossbreed, a non-conformist body of work put together purely to give the listener something to think about. What it’s not is “Rockstaffari” bullshit — it’s an angsty, ballsy blend of hardcore instrumentals and vocals that scat and swoon with Jamaican nobility. Chris Regan and Jay Chung provide the wailing guitars and pocket riddem harmonies while Brian Daigle’s bass acts as the pulse of the rhythm section and Matt Penza’s drumming pyrotechnics pop and burst throughout the disc.

Fear Nuttin Band’s Yardcore is a real offering of love driven with intensity, and it might be the first album in history to cause a mosh pit that ends in hugs and high fives. Yardcore is set to be released in March 2008 on the Bodog Music label with simultaneous releases in America, Canada, Europe and the U.K.