Boom Shack-a-Lack (originally released in 1985 and reissued in 2002 with two bonus tracks) finds the young Junior Reid coming into his own as a mature vocalist, in the last stages of developing the style that would serve him well later as a member of Black Uhuru. It also finds producer Prince Jammy and the Hi Times Band at the peak of their powers, generating powerful no-frills dancehall grooves that give Reid both room to maneuver and plenty of structural solidity. Those shared strengths all come together most powerfully on "Big Timer," with its spare instrumentation and subtly dubwise mix, while "Drink Me out Royalty" unfortunately plays up Reid's abiding inability to sing consistently in tune (a problem which would, thankfully, ameliorate over time). Of the bonus tracks, "Old Time Something" is a two-and-a-half-minute triviality, while the disco mix of "Boom-Shack-a-Lack" takes what had been simply a solid piece of dancehall reggae and spins it out into a treatise on post-roots dub science. Recommended.