Living as a Mod in the 21st Century

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A good dose of dirty reggae with The Aggrolites

I’m not exactly sure what “dirty reggae” is but I can definitely say that it’s damn good! The Aggrolites have successfully fused a perfect mixture of ska, soul, rocksteady and roots reggae. The result is what they call “dirty reggae”. All I know is that it works.

Currently promoting their fourth album appropriately titled IV, we were fortunate to have them make a stop in Montreal during the Montreal International Jazz Festival. Even if they are performing almost every night, this doesn’t stop them from being very energetic and in great spirits on stage. They sure know how to get a crowd going! That’s all thanks to singer-guitarist Jesse Wagner. It was quite a different vibe then The Animals show a few days earlier.

When I see an act like The Aggrolites, it gives me hope that there’s a new generation of musicians ready to take the reigns and keep the scene alive. This bunch of young fellows not only have respect for the traditional sound but can also be contemporary and have their feet firmly planted in the 21st century. Plus, I would be foolish not to underline Roger Rivas’s emphatic and dynamic organ playing. He bangs on those ivories like he was trying to put out a fire. He’s an organ-playing maniac!

Want some proof? Check out a video I took of their performance.

The Aggrolites live in Montreal

They were not only a great act on stage but they are a class act offstage also. They took time to take pictures with us and chat a bit.

I also picked up a 45rpm from the vendors table. I didn’t know anything about The Impalers but for 3$, how could I go wrong? I was pleasantly surprised to hear a very infectious traditional sounding ska / rocksteady. My favorite track was the B-side with a tribute to the king of pop himself entitled Return to Jackson. You should check out their MySpace page at: