Asian Dub Foundation

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 February, 2011, 12:00am

Asian Dub Foundation
A History of Now
Cooking Vinyl

The right-on British indie-dubcore masters defy the odds with a seventh studio album that is as youthful and energetic as anything they've done before.

Despite an ever-changing cast, the collective stays true to the punk-influenced electronica it started out with 18 years ago.

The 11 tracks offer a familiar eclectic blend of rock, rap and dub with a potpourri of influences thrown in, from bhangra to oriental instruments and even an Irish shanty.

It's all wrapped around politically charged lyrics spat out with venom.

All that said, however, A History of Now sounds more like a History of Then.

None of it is as fresh as it was when originally heard. The distorted guitars and jungle beats of Urgent Frequency are ground that's been well trodden.

A few tracks stand out: the frenetic, catchy opener A New London Eye, the raucous title track and the dance floor stomper Futureproof.

They will add fire to Asian Dub Foundation's famously high-octane live sets, but the rest of the album is rather a motley assortment that fails to make a compelling compendium of now or then.