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Solid Ground

(Easy Star; US: 29 Sep 2009; UK: 29 Sep 2009)

Listening to the Black Seeds, one could easily mistake the band for a lost product of Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s Studio One stable of acts from the label’s 1970s heyday. However, these cats ain’t from Jamaica, but rather another mid-sized island surrounded by ocean water, New Zealand, where reggae music is just as beloved and at home amongst the beaches and palm trees of “the other Down Under”. The Seeds are the country’s most renowned representatives of the Kiwi rasta revolution, and the band’s fifth and finest LP, Solid Ground, is a sonic tour de force of heavy dub vibes and feel-good roots-rock melodies flavored with just the right amount of deep Stax-style funk. Never mind the fact its members hail from the same land as the Flight of the Conchords (Bret McKenzie is actually a former member of the Black Seeds) and Flying Nun Records, the Black Seeds have produced a record that harbors some of the most crucial dirt-floor riddims you will hear on any coast.

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Ron Hart is currently enjoying his 11th year as a professional music journalist. In addition to PopMatters, he has also written for such publications as CMJ, Billboard.com, SPIN.com, The Village Voice, Gear, Paper, SHOUT NY, Paperthinwalls.com, Blender, Yellow Rat Bastard, Good Times, Paste, and Barnesandnoble.com among others. He is also the editor and publisher of the Interboro Rock Tribune, a free NYC music zine now in its 6th year in print. Please give us traffic on our website at http://www.irtmag.com.


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