Three EPs in and it is fair to say that UK reggae band onlyjoe just get better and more compelling with each release, the undeniable proof coming with new and fourth EP Play With Fire. It is a magnetic blaze of seductive invention and incendiary intent which leaves senses and thoughts fully awake whilst emotions eagerly accept and join the sultry ride. Consisting of the title track and three remixes, the release from the London based ten piece continues the impressive emergence of the band through their self–titled debut and even more so the Revolution and Wicked Lands EPs. It brings the heart and creative fire of the band openly into view yet again whilst moving those self-same elements on to greater potency. The buzz around the band and anticipation for this new release has been an eager hunger and Play With Fire soon tells you why.
Since emerging onlyjoe has earned a strong vibrant reputation for their inventive sound and open passion, as well as their appearances and adventures alongside the likes of Tippa Irie, Mad Professer, Aba Shanti-I, Solo Banton, Zion Train, Demolition Man, Congo Natty and many more, which has seen them grow into a formidable proposition. Play With Fire as it recruits the passions seems like the key to the next level of plateaus and awareness, a release reaping the seeds set by its predecessors to prospectively bloom into a new realm of acclaim. Of course time will tell but it is hard to suggest anything to the contrary will emerge.
The title track saunters in with a smouldering ambience to its air and vocals whilst brass and keys drizzle their individual temptations across the riveting expanse to help accelerate the pull of the track. The triple vocal juggle is masterful bait alone; Jago, Zico, and Galak all different and distinct lure for ears and emotions within the guitar caresses and rhythmic enticement. Add the flames of sax and trumpet whilst the bass pulsates with just the right shade of shadow and contemplation, and you have a sizzling provocation alongside a thought provoking narrative, quite simply you have a lingering persuasion. The track slowly disperses rather than ends ensuring its touch and voice remains to the very last second as an impacting suggestion, the track overall a unique and powerful merger of modern and traditionally seeded reggae.
The remaining tracks on the EP come in the shape of remixes by Dubkasm, DJ Madd, and the Sleepy Time Ghost & Hylu remix. All in their individual premises and approaches bring new reflections and looks from the original version, though all miss its stature and potent success as an instigator and seducer. They do bring fresh ventures to embrace though even if you always turn back to their inspirer for the real deal.
Released through Unit 137, Play With Fire is a single all reggae lovers need to investigate with full satisfaction and pleasure guaranteed, whilst onlyjoe show it is a band destined to the mightiest of horizons.
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