Local Hop (Album Review)

The whole disc bumps with positivity

Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad. Steady (Easy Star Records).

This reggae-jam band outfit out of Rochester has a knack for making any song they sing infectiously happy, even when the lyrics are broadcasting serious messages. “Solution” talks about finding an answer and keeping optimistic while “Hurt Up Your Brother” reminds us all not to throw stones and to go ahead and call our mothers (and “tell her that you miss her”).

The whole disc bumps with positivity, but the second track, “Steady,” steals the show. Wildly catchy and sweet, the tune is a summertime jam that can last all year as the fellas sing, “Life’s been so good since I got to meet ya/ Oh, my heart beats every time I see ya.” The group– composed of singer and bassist James Searl, singer and guitarist Dylan Savage, singer, guitarist and banjo player Dan Keller, keyboardist Aaron Lipp and drummer Chris O’Brien– shows that reggae’s got many facets and as the band grows and polishes with each disc, the good vibes stay strong.

Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad will perform an album release party at the Westcott Theater, 524 Westcott St., on Friday, Oct. 3, 8 p.m., with Root Shock and Subsoil opening. Tickets are $15. For more information, visit


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