Before listening to The Floating Bridges‘ Creatures of Leisure, my knowledge of reggae rock was limited. It didn’t go far past a few Big Sugar songs as well as a few songs by other bands like Rush‘s Spirit of the Radio or Red Hot Chili Pepper‘s Can’t Stop which have small segments of reggae in them. For me, that’s what make The Floating Bridges stand out and what makes them exciting, because for me they are something new.
It was the song Dreamcatcher that I first heard by The Floating Bridges. I didn’t love it at first, but I could hear a very rootsy rock sound behind the reggae rhythms which I liked. After listening to the rest of Creatures of Leisure I quickly found that other reggae rock songs like Get It On and Ball of Fire appealed greater, being a little less about the cliché of reggae and having their own spins to them.
The Floating Bridges save themselves from being considered one dimensional many times on Creatures of Leisure, starting with the funk infused opening track Breath as well as the funk/reggae hybrid Jennertools. The Drop has root rock sounding breaks that glue the song together, though I won’t deny that the latter is a reggae rock song similar to that of the previously mentioned tracks such as Get It On. I’m impressed with Spanish Split because The Floating Bridges do a terrific job at making a song with a Spanish influenced sound while keeping a reggae and funk soul to the track, making for one of the most unique songs I think I’ve ever heard.
My favourite thing about Creatures of Leisure is that it includes two tracks that aren’t reggae nor funk. Don’t get me wrong, I love the reggae rock sound that The Floating Bridges provide for us on this album, and I’ll get more into detail on that later, but I have to talk about how well they do on the two no nonsense rock songs that they’ve included on Creatures of Leisure. Eloquence is a mellow track that has a 90s alternative influence. I enjoy it a lot but not as much as the more upbeat guitar driven album closer Home. Both songs have a roots rock sound, and I’ve been in the perfect mood for that lately which just amplifies how much I enjoy these tracks.
The originality is key with Australia’s The Floating Bridges and their recently released Creatures of Leisure. It’s what makes this album stand out over most albums released this year. The diversity of Creatures of Leisure is where I’m most surprised. Not all songs are reggae rock songs and even the ones that are can be differentiated enough to not have The Floating Bridges be considered a one trick pony. Creatures of Leisure has few and insignificant negative points that I don’t have to bother mentioning because this is a case where it is unnecessary. The Floating Bridges take reggae and make it appealing to those who may not necessarily have ever cared for the genre, much like what Red Hot Chili Peppers did for funk over thirty years ago.
“Get It On” – I think I ultimately chose this one because it’s my favourite of the reggae rock tracks. Breathe is also a hell of a track to point out, and of course there are those non-reggae rock tracks, but Get It On is the song that always comes to mind when thinking of the fact that I’m actually reviewing a reggae rock band.
8.5 (Out of 10)
|6||Get It On||5:22|
|8||Ball of Fire||6:01|