Inexplicably, certain genres still bare cultural stigmas. These preconceptions, though based on fact, become difficult to shake off. Reggae – considered a safe place for peace, love, and existential enlightenment – is a multi-layered and intriguing genre. Australia’s reggae community, over the past decade, has grown into one of this country’s most popular and eclectic movements. Popular reggae ensemble El Moth reaches for and grasps new reggae sounds and melodies. Hailing from Melbourne’s underground music scene, this group’s electrifying vocals, engaging rhythms, and lively lyrics deliver an urban spin on a traditional genre. El Moth’s first album, Life’s a Ride, is as relaxed and charming as you would imagine.
Here, the group explores Melbourne’s expansive cultural hotspots. In doing so, the group’s sharp sounds and commendable messages promote freedom, integrity, and love. This album provides an impressively moody compilation devoid of typical reggae tropes. The album, based on the band’s infatuation with Melbourne, highlights the notorious city’s sights and sounds. Each song paints enigmatic and culturally decadent portraits of this cement-covered labyrinth. The first track, Cold Faces, becomes a toe-tapping delight for fans and newcomers alike. Here, Australia’s busking and gig communities are delicately paid homage to. Tim Smith, thanks to his alarming vocal range, echoes John Butler’s raw edginess. “I don’t wanna become just another mechanism”, is a catchy lyric that constructs its own narrative. Beyond this insightful track, the album blossoms into a promising and potentially groundbreaking debut for this modest reggae ensemble.