As I get older I find that more and more I don’t have as much contempt for records that aren’t deliberately trying to be confrontational and challenging listens. While I never held that same contempt for Reggae as a genre, its one that I passed over all too often in favor of deliberately less welcoming genres. Now I am starting to appreciate things better that simply…are. REGGAE NOW! is a great example of a record that is what it is, does what it does, and does it with love.

The Aggrolites have long since needed any kind of introduction, the LA ska/reggae band has been making albums for over 15 years in the mold of the best Jamaican ska bands, when ska had a lot in common with soul sonically rather than be directly attached to punk in the public consciousness. Their self-titled second record and Reggae Hit LA, their third put them on the map in a big way and the band has never wavered from that quality.

REGGAE NOW!, with a title like that evokes both an immediate demand for reggae as well as the state of reggae at this state in time. While I can’t speak to the latter point, not knowing the state of the reggae scene at all, I can say for sure dear god do we need more music that helps us take things just a little bit easier in these interesting times. REGGAE NOW! is incredibly impressive in that in both the songwriting and recording an LA band from 2019 can write a record that sounds like it came right out of the mid-20th century reggae movement among Desmond Dekker, The Ethiopians, The Maytals, or the Gaylads.

To have music that is crafted simply for love, with no ulterior motive nor cynical purpose but simply as an expression of joy and reverence for a genre and a band that remains unwaverlingly committed to that expression…its really a treat and feels like barely something we deserve in 2019. Check out REGGAE NOW!…well…now.