[Hughes Drive Productions, 2011]

 The latest from the Huntington Beach, CA-based Simpkin Project is another smart set of inspired and dance-inducing reggae from a band that’s on the rise and sounding great. Their band members – two guitarists, two keyboardists, bassist, drummer and percussionist – lay into the opening instrumental “Showtime” with the expertise of a crack Jamaican studio band, fortified by the blazing addition of Jah Horns.

The title track, Everything You Want, takes up a somber beat by pleading to a lover and provides the first sign that the group’s always dependable lead and harmony vocals are going to be as solid as the musical backing. “Check Yourself” goes a little Latin and keeps the lyrical delivery smooth even at its most rapid fire. There are tunes that lament (“Harder,” “What Seems To Be The Problem”), songs that make sweet reggae music of opposing factions (“Good Times,” “Bad Things”) and tales of more personal concerns (“That Girl,” “Tell Me So”), all served with the Simpkin gents’ expert blend of Jamaican riddims and American additions evident in the high quotient of guitar solos and distinctly California-mellowed vocals.

Never ones to rush through a song, the band here stretches out on 14 tracks and more than 79 minutes of reggae that comes from the heart, reaches the same and is welcome to take all the time it wants getting there. The Simpkin Project’s previous releases Walk On Tall and In The Wake are both recommendable, and this latest work of theirs is their best showcase yet.