Review Summary: Through the low quality and weak sound, Sublime really gets their music to shine through, showing some real potential.
The Demo Tape. Every young developing band has one. That one demo that launches them to success. The tape that somehow lands into the hands of a producer and is immediately recognized as pure genius. For Sublime, this demo tape was called Jah Won't Pay the Bills. Luckily for them, jah would
soon be paying their bills. According to Wikipedia, these tracks were originally released in a now rare cassette the tracks 1-5 are in side A and 6-10 on side B.
Of course, a demo tape isn't going to sound like the album of the year. The quality hear is really low, as it was recorded by Sublime themselves. However, this demo tape contains some real potential for what was to come. Sublime was the band that pioneered mixing elements of rock and reggae into their music. This was a unique sound at the time, and obviously opened the eyes of record companies. Listen to the opening track DJs, for example. The drums and bass during are pure talent, leading up to the catchy chorus.
Many of the tracks on here are just rough versions of songs to come. For instance, Date Rape is played without the famous horn intro everyone knows it for. However, it still has that Sublime sound and energy like we will hear later in Sublime's career. Don't forget the precious version of Ball and Chain, which will later be melded with 54-46 That's My Number to create a double track, is found here played solo. Even through the low quality recordings, the musical genius is prominent in the music, as well as the major talent of the band members. Though Live at E's is silly at parts, with the verses sung by bassist Eric Wilson and drummer Bud Gaugh, it is still representing that the band is having fun doing what they do, whether they are signed by a record company or not.
Whether you like this demo or not, you have to realize that it's a demo
, it is just Sublime's calling to try and get recognized. They used what they had available to them to create the best music that they could. Eventually, frontman Bradley Nowell would go on to develop Skunk Records, and the rest is history.
Obviously, if you are just getting into Sublime or you know nothing about them, I would stick with finding their major releases, 40 Oz. To Freedom or their self-titled album. Chances are if you are not a huge Sublime fan, you won't be able to find this anyway.