Dust & Dirt, the fifth album from NZ reggae titans The Black Seeds, shows the band returning with a record packed with irresistible grooves and a kickass attitude to match. The collective are fantastic at producing jams that sound as if they’ve been whipped together easily out of a chilled out jam session, and if you weren’t schooled up on The Black Seeds before, this record is a perfect introduction. In taking their time recording Dust & Dirt (we haven’t seen a studio record from The Black Seeds since Solid Ground in 2008), the fans are able to look at the album as a snapshot of the band bringing some excellent vintage soul together and entwining it with some fat and gorgeous reggae.
There are plenty of levels on Dust & Dirt: “Out Of Light” is decidedly a drifter of a track; as an album opener it doesn’t immediately hook you in, even though the wispy feel behind the beats are catchy. “Pippy Pip” and “Wide Open” brighten up the scene completely however, and you begin to feel like the album is really hitting its stride by this point. “Loose Cartilage” is most definitely my favourite track on the record; the opening guitar and percussion is ridiculously compelling and immediately makes you want to get up and move. It’s the song which is probably the least reggae infused on the record, but it’s also most exemplary of The Black Seeds’ exploration of other genres, whilst still remaining true to their origins.
As vocalists, Barnaby Weir and Daniel Weetman provide a rippling and pulsating effect which continues throughout the record, but is most prominently felt on tracks like “Frostbite” and “Cracks In Our Crown”. Dust & Dirt brings a refreshed and awakened side to The Black Seeds to the fore and it’s so exciting to see how they’ve developed their sound and have further explored different sorts of music. The synths and the bass work deliciously well together, while the bluesy jams on the guitar act as a nod toward the old-school acts that drove some of the best blues-rock acts of yesteryear.
Review Score: 8.5 out of 10