Bands best known for high-energy shows often don't translate well in the studio. With Elevate, Apex Vibe has created an LP that's enjoyable but not necessarily innovative or new; the reggae/rock outfit is more reminiscent of Sublime and 311 than Bob Marley and the Wailers. But while Apex Vibe isn't breaking new ground, Elevate is a solid effort, offering up crunchy guitar lines, wobbling bass and ska influences. The lyrics are — as the album title should indicate — uplifting and positive, and the five members of the band are clearly skilled on their respective instruments. Two of the best tracks are the opener, "Set It Right," which features some fine scratching by DJ Unison, and the closer, "Steady Rollin' Dub," recorded with Black Rhino. Evocative of summertime, relaxation and heady vibes, Elevate is like a mellower version of Apex Vibe's up-tempo live sets.
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