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John Michaelz and the Black Brothers Band - EP Review: Limited Edition

26 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland

It is not often that I am asked to review reggae, as it is an area which is very much a strange land to me, so I am coming at this as a straightforward listener as opposed to having any knowledge in the genre. This EP is a collection of three previously released singles, plus dub versions of the same, one of which has been broken in two to provide us with seven numbers. Michaelz was nominated for a Tui award all the way back in 2010 for his gospel album Walk on Water, but most of his work has been in the rock field in different bands, and it is only fairy recently that he has turned his attention to this style, and very effective it is too.

The songs are perfect for the summer, as sunshine comes pouring out of every note, fresh and inviting, encouraging everyone who is listening to get up and dance. This is not music to be played at home, but where there are gatherings of people who want to have a good time and party. My favourite of the three songs is Do Tha Do’s which is slowed down so much that movements are jerky, yet underneath the staccato strikes there is a wonderfully fluid bassline which is simply sublime. It grooves, links in, moves off, comes back and is the beating heart of the song. Only Michaelz can say if he means all the words he is singing, as they come across as full-blown Rastafarian both in terms of lyrical content and slang usage, but this definitely comes across as genuine as opposed to using certain words and stylings as that is what others do within the genre.

If reggae is a scene with which I am unfamiliar then dub takes that to the next level, but I found it fascinating to hear how the songs have been broken down and moved in different directions. The songs are still there at the heart though, and to my unpractised ears I found these versions fascinating. I love the backing vocals throughout the EP, as they add so much to what is undoubtedly a solid slice of being on the beach, sharing a barbie and beer with friends while dancing the night away.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About John Michaelz and the Black Brothers Band

John Michaelz: Vocals / Rhythm Guitar

Nominated for a New Zealand Tui Award in 2010 for his Gospel album, Walk on Water, with ten albums to his credit and known for his high-octane stage performances, fronting rock bands Hard To Handle, The Stone Babies and Kosher, John Michaelz’ latest work combines his love of Reggae and his prowess for writing a great song.

John’s albums include fine contributions from the likes of Shona Laing, Rodger Fox, Ritchie Pickett, Gordon Joll (Herbs, Hello Sailor), Alan Norman (The Warratahs, The Rag Poets), Liam Ryan (The Narcs) to mention a few.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for John Michaelz and the Black Brothers Band

Releases

Soul Exodus
Year: 2023
Type: Album
Limited Edition
Year: 2022
Type: EP

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