My first SOJA show was in 2008 in Falls Church, Virginia — a stone's throw from where this, at the time 5-piece band grew up. At that point, SOJA had already been together 10 years and had rocked out two full-length albums. With Washington, D.C., as its Babylon backdrop, the band's earlier sound was more dub-heavy, political, and Rastafarian-influenced. Since that first show (and 15-plus live shows for me later), SOJA has added a lead guitarist and horn duo, worked with world-renowned producer Supa Dups, and walked the Grammy red carpet this past year for a nomination. Latin, hip-hop, and Go-Go elements set these guys apart from the burgeoning California reggae scene of similar non-Jamaican outfits. For its latest effort, "Amid the Noise and Haste," SOJA has pumped out an album that's political, punchy, and filled with positive vibrations.