Sublime: Sublime: 2LP Black Vinyl in Gatefold

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2LP Black Vinyl in Gatefold

The popularity of ska bands like No Doubt and Goldfinger paved the way for what seemed to be inevitable success for Sublime. But lead singer Brad Nowell died of a heroin overdose in May 1996, two months before this major-label debut was released. SUBLIME reveals a talented act whose songs were a brilliant mix of punk, reggae, hip-hop and dub. Sublime's ability to jump genres is showcased within a few bars of "What I Got." Amidst whistling, scratching and a rhythm copped from the Beatles' "Lady Madonna," Nowell's vocals glide from spoken-word to a toasting vibe. Pop culture also provided a handy source, particularly in "Caress Me Down," where porn star Ron Jeremy and G.I. Joe are mentioned amid reggae rhythms and Spanish lyrics. Although many of these songs have a fun, carefree aura, Sublime's darker side occasionally surfaces. The black humor of "April 29, 1992 (Miami)," which boasts of looting during the L.A. riots, gives way to the eerie foreshadowing of "Garden Grove," where in the middle of quirky samples and heavy reverb, Nowell casually sings of shooting up.