In 2015, Sublime with Rome released their second album Sirens to mixed reviews. Founding Sublime drummer Bud Gaugh left the group in 2011, leaving bassist Eric Wilson as the sole original Sublime member collaborating with Rome Ramirez. Many fans and critics felt the intricate, unique sound of Sublime had been left far behind in the 90’s. But after a four-year break, Sublime with Rome is back with their newest release, the four track EP Blessings.
From the first verse of the lead song “Light On”, the sound and feel of this album is clearly different from the grimy, reggae, Sublime sound. But Wilson and Ramirez have created their own sound, a diverse mix of reggae, alternative rock, ska, and pop. The album has an upbeat, summertime feel, with catchy bass lines and sing-along lyrics. Three listens in and I already am finding myself singing the chorus of “Blackout” along with Ramirez.
The third track of the EP, “Spiderweb”, is phenomenally constructed and falls a bit closer to what Sublime fans may be hoping to hear. Leading off with a driven, sleek bassline from Wilson, the song fulfills those reggae rock cravings and much more. Horns, drums, and Ramirez’s vocals join in on the buttery bass to create a song that surely can be left on repeat.
Look, Sublime with Rome is not Sublime. And it shouldn’t be. Anyone expecting the exact same sound as Sublime from 25 years ago would be disappointed. But Sublime with Rome have progressed Sublime’s sound into a new era of modern alternative rock and reggae rock. Blessings is smooth, feel-good music and its late May release is perfect with summer right around the corner. Don’t write off Sublime with Rome just yet, give Blessings a few listens… Wilson’s iconic basslines and Ramirez’s vocal ability are pretty difficult not to love.