Biography

There are at least two groups sharing the name Dub War:
1) Raggae metal band from the UK;
2) UK garage/dubstep duo.

1) Formed in 1993, Dub War were a rock antidote to the Britpop hegemony.

Diminutive, livewire frontman Benji Webbe joined three established Newport musicians, and released a couple of 12” singles and a now sought-after mini album with local hardcore label Words Of Warning. The Dub Warning mini album was released in 1994, then, following a rapid rise in their profile, re-released with extra tracks as Words Of DUBWARning later in the year.

Explosive live performances, always prefaced by Webbe winding a huge air raid siren, propelled their public profile upwards and while the indie press concentrated on the likes of Sleeper, Menswear and Echobelly, Dub War carved out a niche for themselves with discerning and open-minded rock fans.

Extreme music label Earache decided that Dub War were perfect for their roster and by 1995 they’d inked the deal. Pain was released in the same year, and featured two tracks that became over time rock club floor-filling staples. Gorrit took Faith No More and made it even more intense and twisted, while Strike It was a huge shout-along with an infectious rap metal refrain.

Dub War were never the types to tread water, so after the Pain album cycle, they experimented more with their sounds and influences, trying to avoid being pigeonholed in any one bracket. The new material was softer, more subtle, and without some of the bombast of their previous material. It was challenging - and of course that has knock-on effects when an audience expects a certain sound.

The singles Enemy Maker and Cry Dignity weren’t a million miles from their previous hit singles, but their impact was minimal. The release of Wrong Side Of Beautiful in late 1996 saw their live reputation unchanged but their chart action lessened. They released the Soundclash EP, which showcased their dance influences the same year.

1997 saw the last singles from their second album proper released, then in 1998 they began to lay the foundations for their current work. Webbe stepped out on his own with his 1999 sideproject mass mental? (featuring Robert Trujillo of Suicidal Tendencies, Infectious Grooves and Metallica) as well as two guest appearances with ex-Sepultura man Max Cavalera’s new outfit Soulfly.

In 1999 the band split, with Webbe, Rose and Ford reforming as Skindred, and Glover joining The Jones. Following the release of their debut album, Babylon, in late 2002 Ginge and Jeff left Skindred, citing their record label’s constant lack of support for the band as their source of frustration, especially after their decade of hard work and still having to work day jobs. Skindred now continues with an all new line-up, whilst the rest of Dub War, namely Jeff, Ginge and Richie regrouped as Raw Bud (released as Raw Bud Vs Roni Size on their debut single, Rise Up). In 2010, Earache released The Dub, the War & the Ugly, a CD & DVD compilation package that included unreleased demos for the band’s never-released third album, along with rare tracks, a DVD of an entire live concert as well as a documentary and all of the group’s music videos.

2) UK garage/dubstep group consisting of Benny Ill and B. Fuller. They released the cult Murderous Style/Generation 12” on Tempa in 2001.

Edited by NapalmFrost on 4 Nov 2010, 16:49

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