[7 September 2010]
10 Ft. Ganja Plant is one of those bands for whom not much really needs to be said. They’re a band who primarily make their mark on simply being heard, and 10 Deadly Shots follows in that tradition. Originally released as a free digital download on April 20th for fans of the band’s namesake, the group decided to put out a physical release for the diehards. But like any Ganja Plant release, 10 Deadly Shots is an album perfectly suited for newcomers and PA speaker treatment as well.
Most notable about the release is its brevity; at a scant 34 minutes with no track longer than four minutes and many under 3:30, 10 Deadly Shots comes and goes in what feels like no time at all. If left on repeat with the accompaniment of friends, chilled drinks, and a nice breeze, the moment the playful sax and percussion of “Apache Kid” breaks out will be a celebrated one. The subtle bob and weave of “Belle Star” and “Billy the Kid” will always be welcomed with a smile. As always, what makes a 10 Ft. Ganja Plant release so pleasing is its mysterious, ever-rotating roster of musicians guided loosely by the John Brown’s Body family. These New York reggae pros do an awesome job laying down a consistent summertime vibe. The saxophone and guitar are the lead instruments on most tracks, but a smattering of various percussion and other rhythm elements keeps the vibe fresh with each track. At times, one gets the feeling they’re sitting in on particularly spirited mini-jams.
10 Deadly Shots was probably a highly appreciated listen on its original release date, but even disassociated from the day’s events there’s enough content and dope ‘70s style instrumental roots to satisfy any casual reggaehead, and a fair amount of experts as well. There’s no doubt the group is best enjoyed live or in a social setting, if only because the music doesn’t (attempt to) make any specific impression on the listener. But it’s some great background music, with more than enough detail to satisfy occasional immersive listens. While there’s not a lot of new sounds here, there’s an equal scarcity of poor musicianship or songwriting. 10 Deadly Shots is simply a band cutting loose and doing what they do best; hopefully, there’s a lot more volumes in the future.