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Extra Classic: Show Preview 

Wednesday, Aug 10 2011
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Resurrecting classic rocksteady and dancehall sounds is an enterprise fraught with risk: As the legions of Sublime imitators and wannabe reggae tossoffs illustrate, it's tough enough to duplicate — let alone improve — styles that arguably reached perfection in Kingston in the late '60s and early '70s. So it's pleasing to come across a new band like S.F.'s Extra Classic, whose music bears the hallmarks of that era without relying upon any embarrassing tropes. "Congo Rebel," the group's first single, swirls atop a thick, nibbling bassline, with an uptempo feel, stabbing guitars, and hazily longing vocals from Adrianne Verhoeven. It's even backed by a thoroughly swampy dub version produced by band member Alex De Landa. Cast in the warm glow of analog recording, and sporting a friendly — but not clingy — relationship to past Jamaican music, the single helped Extra Classic sign with the L.A. label Manimal Vinyl, home to sonic bravados Warpaint and Sister Crayon.

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Ian S. Port

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