[27 January 2010]
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.