REVIEW: Rootz Revealerz – Skylark

By Liam Monaghan

Theres no shortage of Reggae bands around the globe and a serious amount in Jamaica especially, but not all of the members of those bands derive from a rich musical heritage where their parents are labeled as legends. The Rootz Revealerz were pretty new to my ears and they consist of the Manning brothers who are the sons of the Abyssinians and Chris Mundahl. The brothers coming from musical parents have been surrounded by music and influences all their lives and have toured with the likes of Ini Kamoze, Bunny Wailer, Morgan Heritage, Beres Hammond, Black Uhuru and Chaka Demus & Pliers.

The Roots Revealerz are the official support for the Abyssinians on tour and have released an EP titled ‘Skylark’ consisting of 8 tracks of vibrance and uplifting music. Collaborations include The Abyssinians as you would expect, Cp Ink, Ras Goudie and The Tamlins.

To kick off the EP, Skylark is a relaxing track that sets the tone for the foreseeable. Some nice horn lines and a good bass line keep the focus on the lyrics. Lots of tunes coming out recently are more stripped back, if we look at Clive Hunts productions of the Dennis Brown recreations for VP records recently, it mirrors the same pattern of the production of Skylark. A nice record.

Rudeboy Ft Ras Goudie
First Collab in, really like Ras Goudie’s voice, works in harmony with Mundahls. Rude boy is a step up in tempo from Sky Lark, prefer this record in honesty down to the message in it, ‘Rude Boy Don’t take your gun to town tonight, better find a girl and hold on tight’ not that i advocate just chasing women, but the gun aspect! the pop-y style of the percussion in this track keeps it fresh and positive.

She Pray
She pray is trickles back down to a roots tempo. The good thing about this track is it paints a great image in your mind and it isn’t heavily influenced by religion, just good lyrics. The jist of the track is a Mother who just wants the best for her children, being tested so they learn the aspects of life and stay safe. Nice.

Basket Nuh Carry Wata
Catchy hook in this, ‘Basket Nuh Carry Wata’, can see this being the breakdown crowd participation in the live shows. Its a nice track, mentions of social issues in Jamaica such as politicians, water and i derived education from it. Cp Inks unique voice adds a new dimension to the track which ties up an easy listen.

Times Hard Ft Tamlins
Big fan of the Tamlins, was excited to listen to this track, there is some familiar sampling of familiar Reggae riddims from back in the day but sampled classily, not completely used the whole track and changed a few elements. Im sure off the top of my head that the horn line is from King Tubbys Fatman tapes, even so, Solid harmonies and positivity rings through here. Motivating lyrics here in a time of mass poverty in the 21st Century.

Bed Of Roses Ft The Abyssinians
it was inevitable that the Abyssinians would be making an appearance on the EP down to the family ties. Its a big look to have a collaboration with the Abyssinians, its something that will feature on the discography of the Roots Revealerz, not many bands get to collaborate with Reggae Royalty. Nice record here, discussing the contrast of life, positive and negatives of life, “bed of roses or a bed of thorns” the voices of the Abyssinians just add a touch of class to the record.

Different sound to this track which is welcomed. When i saw the title of the track i presumed it may have something to do with narcotics but it really isn’t about that, slap on the wrist for me. The track discuses people just selling materials to send their children to school or to put food on a plate. Interestingly enough we get a list of where people do sell items, such as trains planes, streets and globally ‘wherever you go’. it does make you think about how much enterprise is put in your face everyday.

Back To The Island
Final Track on the EP, a nice way to finish off the EP, soft vocals and we return to a delicate riddim which paints the picture of a sunset going down in my head which is also the sunset going down on the album. Its a nice listen, a good solid 8 tracks, it’ll be interesting to see what the rest of the year holds for the guys, musical talent and the unique voices are in place, just a matter of hitting those breakthrough tracks for recognition, Would recommend!