welcome back to the Skaject folks! this week, we’re gonna take a listen to Sublime’s second record, Robbin’ the Hood, from 1994 –

Robbin’ the Hood is a very interesting follow up to 40 oz. to Freedom. this record is undeniably looser and way more experimental – it boasts 13 songs but between skits, the Raleigh Solilolquys, and misc transitional tracks it ends up at 22 tracks and is almost an hour, drifting between some mellow acoustic work, some tight ska and punk, some dub, and beyond. i think there is a charm to this album, even if im not fully buying what its selling.

the high points for me for sure are Saw Red and All You Need – these would easily be singles were the album to be the kind that got singles. Saw Red’s guitar is stressed and Bradley Nowell and Gwen Stefani play off each other really well, and All You Need is blistering and excellently crafted.

Steppin’ Razor fakes me out for Do It Again by Steely Dan – i think its a real good song in its own right, but that intro throws me off, haha. love the electronic instrumentation here. i saw in looking into the record thar Pool Shark got a bit of attention, especially given its historical position in Bradley Nowell’s life, and the Acoustic version here is particularly moving. Boss D.J. was another track of note for me, as im familiar with it from a cover that goes in a very different, more positively bombastic direction, and i dig the original’s mellow vibe a lot. S.T.P. has some moments i warm up but the track goes all over the place and loses momentum right when i feel like its building something good. Falling Idols is a bit the opposite – really strong way to use variety to craft the momentum of the song.

none of the transitionals or Soliloquys made strong impacts, positive or negative. they contribute to a specific vibe and pace for the record that makes it feel conversational, and casual – this is the experience of going to a party and having the eclectic playlist be interrupted by conversations, interjections, and distractions, and that vibe is built by how this album is paced. i do wonder how much the Raleigh Soliloquys are taken with or without his knowledge or approval given his interactions on the second Soliloquy, but i think thats a question a bit outside the scope of the record, and that interaction itself kinda highlights how pushing up against authority from a position like Raleigh’s looks like. his perspective – stressed, kinda misogynistic, sorta conspiratorial, and generally pushed to the edge, arent out of place here.

the dubs are solid – across my reviews on this site ive had a growing appreciation for dubs and i think the ones here are good listens. i read after the fact that parts of Lincoln Highway Dub were re-used for Santeria, and man that is obvious enough that im kicking myself for not hearing it. Free Loop is think is the only track in this category i wasn’t huge on.

faves – Steppin’ Razor, Saw Red, Pool Shark – Acoustic Version, Boss D.J., All You Need
dislikes –

Robbin’ the Hood – 6/10

i’ll be back next week looking at Skankin’ Pickle’s next record, Sing Along With Skankin’ Pickle!

previous: Press | next: Sing Along With Skankin’ Pickle

previous Sublime release: 40 oz to Freedom | next: Sublime

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