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Album Review: The Black Seeds - Dust & Dirt

1 May 2012 | 5:24 pm | Jayde Ferguson

It crosses boundaries for a band that is still holding onto their reggae foundation, demonstrating they are ready to take on a challenge by adding more blends into the mix.

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Bringing the typical New Zealand reggae soul and infusing that with the familiar off-beat strumming, funky synths and comfortable grooves of The Black Seeds, and there you have their fifth studio album, Dust & Dirt. After a two year creative process, The Black Seeds have put out a release that takes their songwriting and recording duties in an innovative direction. Dust & Dirt introduces the new styles and sounds of the band with energy, a warm vintage tone and an improvisational feel.

Out Of Light kicks off the album with a down tempo, spacey-bass vibe that doesn't do much for capturing your attention but, if you give it a chance, Pippy Pip gives a bubbly and upbeat outburst, followed by the harder-edged funk tune Wide Open. Loose Cartilage is the highlight of the album with its piercing bluesy guitar jam and infectious melody, Love Me Now makes you want to start grooving in a figure-eight form, whereas Cracks In Our Crown rocks it up a whole new level.

The strength of The Seeds is in their musicianship, with their minimal vocals and well-crafted instrumentals standing out. The smooth vocals of Barnaby Weir and Daniel Weetman compliment the optimistic and relaxed mood, matching the tasty grooves and fresh touches. Dust & Dirt is an album that reveals the band's newfound creative freedom, mixed with experimental funk, dub, soulful looping, bass beats and vintage roots-reggae. It crosses boundaries for a band that is still holding onto their reggae foundation, demonstrating they are ready to take on a challenge by adding more blends into the mix.