For a trio that boasts of its originality, Raleigh's Doco—melders of reggae, ska, punk and rap—makes comparisons to the '90s kingpins of that party hybrid, Long Beach three-piece Sublime, entirely too easy. Start a track with a lighter and a rip? Right there on "Kinston," in which frontman Trevor Booth pines for a million bucks to buy a yacht, sail down to the titular small Carolina town and harvest marijuana. Seems like Kingston would be a bit more appropriate, huh? (Also of note: Is it possible to sail to Kinston via the Neuse?)
Of course, it's just one of a slew of cannabis references and overall clichés on The Fossil Record: Token (tokin'?) DJ scratches abound in "As the Ship Goes Down" between verses that find Booth doing his best take on a laid-back Bradley Nowell flow, including one spent big-upping his own crew. Horn samples punctuate the chorus of "Bass and Germs," a comparatively straight hip-hop track that features the improved delivery of MCs Opus One and Wordz The Myth, though lines like "threading up the needle/ now I'm weaving an afghan" stick out like a spent doob. A few shining moments come scattered among the album's 13 jams—most of them five-minute-plus marathons—and five interludes, particularly the deep grooves on "As the Ship Goes Down" and "Bassment Door," provided by bassist Josh Booth, the band's strongest instrumentalist. While Doco are far from "coming original" on The Fossil Record, the studio album is rarely the best artifact of a group that prides itself on a fun live performance, which can't be as tired as seeing Wrong Way for the 10th time, right?
Doco plays The Pour House Friday, May 1, at 9 p.m. with Groove Stain, Kinetic and The Bastard Suns. Tickets are $6 with a Y chromosome, free without (seriously ... no sausage fest, brah).