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The Wallflowers, ‘Reboot the Mission’ – Song Review

'Reboot the System'
Columbia Records

The Wallflowers return this October with ‘Glad All Over,’ their first new album since 2005’s ‘Rebel, Sweatheart,’ and eager fans can get a taste of things to come with ‘Reboot the Mission.’ The disc’s first single mines some unusual territory for the Wallflowers — namely, dub-tinged reggae — but if that seems a bit strange, the person they recruited to help certainly makes sense: former Clash icon Mick Jones.

The Clash, of course, were known for their meanderings into the world of reggae, and the inclusion of Jones, who plays guitar and adds guest vocals, adds a certain something to track that’s hard to specify but impossible to miss. “It made sense to us to ask the mighty Mick Jones to partake,” Wallflowers frontman Jakob Dylan tells Rolling Stone. “[We were trying to be] a rock band that could make a dance track too, without crossing over to the extreme side,” he adds.

If that was the Wallflowers’ goal on ‘Reboot,’ consider it mission accomplished. To be perfectly honest, at first it sounds a bit odd to hear Dylan’s hoarse snarl featured in a reggae jam, but it works. Dylan’s backing musicians in the Wallflowers do a perfectly respectable job of pulling off the instrumental groove, and adding the built-in authenticity of Jones ties it all together.

We can’t imagine the Wallflowers are gearing up to unleash an entire album of dub-reggae on the world — that would be too much of a good thing, for sure — but as the lead single and first new music heard from the band in more than half of a decade, ‘Mission’ certainly reboots our interest in the band.

Listen to the Wallflowers, ‘Reboot the Mission’

8 out of 10 rating

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