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The Athenian dream 

Dubsconscious releases Realization

Since forming in 2002, Athens band Dubconscious has independently released two albums, 2004's Word of Life and last year's The American Dream; consistently drawn crowds in the hundreds and packed venues like Smith's Olde Bar; and established a dependable circuit of clubs in which to play that extends up the Eastern seaboard. It's enough success for any hard-working local band, but Dubconscious isn't satisfied.

"I'd say if there's a hump, this is when you get over it," says Dubconscious' guitarist and lead vocalist Adrian Zelski during a phone interview from Washington, D.C. The band is on a quick tour through the Southeast before returning for a party at Smith's Olde Bar in celebration of its new CD, Realization. Then the group heads back on the road for its first California tour, culminating in an appearance at the prestigious High Sierra Music Festival in Quincy. "We have a tour manager now and a publicist. We have these things in place now," he says. "We're getting there."

Dubconscious recorded Realization at the famed Tree Sound Studios in Norcross, says Zelski. The album was recorded in front of a live audience, and includes new and old material. Zelski estimates that Realization cost $25,000 to produce and manufacture, an outlay he believes is reflected in its superior sound quality.

Realization also features a seventh addition, vocalist Shellie Olin, to the six-member group of Zelski, lead guitarist James Keane, percussionist Scott Pridgen, keyboardist Jerry Hendelberg, bassist Solomon Wright and drummer Matt Woolley. You can hear an MP3 of an album track, "Past Tense," at www.dubconscious.com. The song criticizes the Left Behind cult and other forms of Christian zealotry, arguing "Wishful thinking is getting us nowhere."

"Reggae typically is somewhat religious and sociopolitical, so that's our framework that we start from," Zelski continues. "All of us believe in one world. We believe the universe is a good place. I don't think there's any dogma attached to it, though."

Dubconscious plays Smith's Olde Bar Fri., June 9, with Sojourn. $12. 9 p.m. 1578 Piedmont Ave. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. The group also plays the Variety Playhouse Sat., June 10, with Steel Pulse. $25. 8:30 p.m. 1099 Euclid Ave. 404-524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com.

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