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Supaphat - Ride With Me Review

by Dan Upton

What would you get if, say, hed pe didn't sound quite so contrived, or 311 dropped the ska/reggae tinges, or the Red Hot Chili Peppers channeled some heavier riffing in their funk? Something like Supaphat, probably.

This four-piece group from California, who released Ride With Me back in 2005, mostly serve up feel-good tunes that would probably be great to jam out at a summer barbecue if you wanted something a little more energetic. Some of the riffs evoke Rage Against the Machine on Prozac, a distorted groove that's fun instead of a bed for seething anger. Vocalist Eric Schley occasionally pulls off a pretty good Sublime voice, but mostly has a deeper "white-boy soul" voice probably influenced by old R&B and blues. It occasionally sounds a little hokey, such as "Drama"'s chorus "From the drama i'ma gon' stay away," but at least in the right frame of mind, the vocals are hooky enough to overcome the hokeyness. "Fill Me Up" is another entertaining track, partly because his inflection walks the line between "fill you up" and "feel you up," and the slow wah-drenched groove is superimposed with sounds of a woman...well, I'll let you fill in the rest in your head.

Most of the songs are fun for a while, but I can't see this being the kind of disc that would find itself lodged in my car stereo for weeks on end. If you want to support independent music and build your collection of party tunes, you could certainly do worse; from an artistic standpoint, you could certainly do better.

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