Nothing ‘Sublime’ About
A Glorified Cover Band
It Is Rude And Somewhat Embarrassing To Anyone Who Ever Listened To The Bradley Nowell Line Up's Music That Eric Wilson Is Enabling The Monstrosity Known As Sublime With Rome To Tour Using The Name Sublime, Or Even Play Music At All
By Jeff Moses
Modern Times Magazine
Oct. 20, 2014 — There is nothing positive about seeing Sublime With Rome perform live, particularly in an arena, but really anywhere on Earth. They are the worst act on the planet and Bradley Nowell would be embarrassed to see what his band that sold 17 million records worldwide looks like in 2014.
Bass player Eric Wilson could not possibly be less interested in the performance, original drummer Floyd “Bud” Gaugh was so embarrassed by the group that he left after they released their first album, and lead singer Rome Ramirez cannot sing.
Sitting through a Sublime With Rome performance is just an utterly horrendous experience, and I saw them twice just to make sure. Now, granted, both times were at the Memorial Coliseum at The Arizona State Fairgrounds which could potentially be an excuse for being as atrocious as they were both times. But I’ve also seen Nas, ZZ Top, and Janes Addiction, among others, have stellar sets in the same environment.
Of course, attitude could be playing a bigger role for Sublime With Rome than those other acts. But they should try and get over that fast if that’s the case. Because once the novelty of hearing the same 12 Sublime tunes wears off for their already dwindling fanbase they will be lucky to book a high school carnival let alone a state fair. Besides, if acts with actual talent like Weezer, and legendary rockers like John Fogerty are rocking it, how in the world could Sublime With Rome think they are too good for it?
Rome’s god-awful voice, Eric’s total disinterest, and a boring catalogue full of covers and terrible originals is what makes Sublime With Rome really bad. But what truly makes them the worst band on Earth is that they are so very obviously just ‘doing it for the money’ and have no actual passion for the project.
For proof, look no farther than the fact that they are still cashing in on the name Sublime. Back in 2009 when Nowell’s family sued Eric, Bud, and Rome for use of the name Sublime, it was pretty silly. Though Nowell was the band's chief songwriter, he was not the only member and if two-thirds of the band wished to use the name they should have been allowed too.
Even if the lead singer was awful and they were only going to scuff up the legacy.
But no one asked for my opinion, and a judge ruled that they could not use the name Sublime. So, in hopes of cashing in as best as possible they changed the name ever so slightly and added “With Rome” to the end of it. A decent move to maintain the revenue, continue paying homage, and a bit of a snarky middle finger to the people who were trying to stop them from using the name.
But then when Bud quit the use of the name really became egregiously misleading, and it also became more or less totally apparent that the only reason they were using it was for the money. When the group consisted of two original members they had that sort of, “two guys holding on to the glory days” aesthetic going for them and it was almost cute. But now with only one original member, and that horrendous lead singer, it just seems like Sublime Karaoke.
But the worst part is, things probably would not be much better if Nowell was still alive. He was definitely easier to look at that the ungodly ugly Rome Ramirez, and at least the band would feature the original lineup, which is ever important to true fans. But Nowell wasn’t much of a singer, or a performer and probably didn’t have another hit record up his sleeve.
For the band, Nowell’s death was probably one of the best things that could have happened for their legacy. Because if he had lived, people would have eventually realized they always were what they have now become, a house party band that blew up way bigger than their level of talent was ready for.
Maybe not, but after seeing Sublime With Rome twice in concert, its hard to find anything nice to say.
Jeff Moses a senior contributor at Modern Times Magazine. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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