Take Control is the new single form the highly rated UK sextet By The Rivers, a band which has already earned eager praise and a loyal following around their home town of Leicester and further afield. The single is a warm and vibrant blend of reggae and ska tinged enterprise which teases and caresses the senses into a warm and satisfied bliss.
Formed in 2010 by friends Nile Barrow (vocals/guitar) and Jordan Birtles(drums/vocals), By The Rivers has certainly been on a steady and rapid rise. Taking their passion for the sound, culture, and style of reggae and its roots, the pair soon recruited Will Todd (saxophone), Leo May (trumpet), Matt Willars (bass), and Sam Read (keyboard/guitar/backing vocals) to the mix. The first year saw the band venture into the live arena to rapturous responses and within their first seven gigs had lined up to support Dawn Kinnard, Neville Staples, Toploader, and Fun Lovin Criminals. The band was in strong demand with venues and promoters with the following year seeing the band support the likes of The Buzzcocks, Maxi Priest, Musical Youth, Dawn Penn, Saxon Sound, Neville Staple, and John Holt & The Specials. Their second EP repeated the success of their first with fans as did their debut single One Word, both earlier EPs receiving a full release as a single package in 2011, the release reaching second spot in the iTunes Reggae Album Charts, behind Bob Marley.
Released on Kompyla Records, second single Take Control shows with ease why the band is hailed as something special. Opening with pulsating bass strokes and gentle yet fiery brass calls the song is an immediate temptation, its heated elegance and sinewy heart an instant magnet for the ear. A musical infection sets in even before the vocals have a place in the scheme of things with the fine tones of Barrow and Birtles elevating the existing satisfaction to greater depths. Limbs are recruited before the willing passions, both without defence to the magnetic melodic wash and inciting passion of the song musically and lyrically. It is a gentle yet formidable coaxing, a persuasive ‘call to arms’ which engages on every level, voice and thoughts willing recruits to the heart and breath of the song. Our knowledge of reggae and its history is sketchy at best but the same emotion and pleasure spawned from the best moments of UB40 and the current enterprise and emotion of Onlyjoe is prevalent throughout the song.
The track is accompanied by a remix by Radio Riddler (Fast & Frank Benibi of Fun Lovin Criminals)of the single and the excellent acoustic version of the song Don’t Stand Alone. The remix is a more than decent engagement which lights different shadows and flames from within the original song whilst the last song is a deeply impressive and pleasing wash of acoustic guitar, melodica, and the again delicious vocals and harmonies of the band founders. A fresh and uncomplicated breeze of emotive energy and mesmeric craft, the track would have made an irresistible single all on its own, the living melodic and harmonic contagion quite delicious.
By The Rivers is on the verge of big things and Take Control the compelling persuasion that it will be sooner rather than later. Just starting a tour of England, this is a band which brings something invigorating musically and emotionally to UK reggae and melodic enterprise.
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