The Black Seeds are a staple of the New Zealand music scene and could be considered one of the founders of the current Wellington music renaissance. That reputation is a double-edged sword; they garner a lot of respect for what they've achieved but at the same time there's a tendency for some people to take them for granted.
Dust and Dirt could change that perception. This is their finest album since their debut Keep On Pushing shook things up 11 years ago.
There's a polish to it that goes above that of previous albums and a distinct move away from that "Wellington Sound" they've been labelled with so many times. In fact, there are moments listening to Dust and Dirt where you could close your eyes and imagine you're in ’60s Jamaica - the old school reggae/roots/dub vibe is so strong on some tracks, particularly the title track.
It's not just the style that has that old feel to it. The tone of the album has a beautiful warm, vintage feel to it that suits the mood of the album well.
The more stripped back tracks are the strongest, where the band has a more space to explore and reinterpret their sound, such as on Loose Cartilage, and the opening track Out Of Light, which act as a heavy intro, and counterpoint, to the lighter sounding title track.
There's still a few tracks that retain the sound that the Black Seeds had on their early albums, but for the most part this new release shows how far they've come since their early days, in terms of sound and songwriting.
For anyone who dismissed the Black Seeds albums of recent times as "more of the same", I'd recommend you get a copy of Dust and Dirt and let the band change your mind.
Originating from Wellington, New Zealand, The Black Seeds have carved out their reputation through platinum selling albums, a masterful live show, and a sound that fuses infectious grooves and melodies with undiluted roots music. With numerous European festival tours behind them, and a successful 2009 North American album release, their following continues to spread quickly around the globe.
Led by the vocals of Barnaby Weir and Daniel Weetman, at its core The Black Seeds music is a boundary-crossing sound fusion of big-beat funk, dub, soul, mixed with vintage roots-reggae.
Described by Clash Magazine as "one of the best reggae acts on the planet", their legendary 8-piece live show brings the raw energy and good vibes wherever it goes. They have countless sell-out New Zealand and Australasian tours behind them, and regularly perform at many of Europe and North America’s biggest festivals.