The Resolvers are a South Florida quintet that formed in 2007 and are already making a splash on the reggae scene down there. One listen to their debut EP, H'amsa (Arabic for "five"), makes it clear why the crowds are lapping up their music. Their charming brand of roots with an easygoing pop edge channels great crossover bands like Steel Pulse, Aswad, Third World and Inner Circle -- without the layer of cheese that those bands have waded through in their more modern recordings. Their sound is rooted in classic reggae, featuring wonderful harmonies, bouncing one-drop rhythms, groovy organs and soulful melodies that veer into intriguing pop/rock territory, as on the ballad "It Was You." Lyrically, the group proves striking, especially on the standout track, "Clear," an introspective tune that delves into a level of critical self-analysis not usually head in reggae:
People change; maybe I should too.
Start today; tomorrow won't be soon enough to clear up I mistakes.
Lead singer Ojay has a wonderfully rich, deep tone similar to Bambu Station's Jalani Horton, and his emotion sells each of the five tracks. If the Resolvers can maintain this level of quality over a full album, it will certainly be in the running for one of the best releases of the year.