Review: The Black Seeds – Dust And Dirt

Review: The Black Seeds – Dust And Dirt

The Black Seeds – Dust And Dirt
Track Listing:
1.) Out of Light
2.) Dust and Dirt
3.) Pippy Pip
4.) Wide Open
5.) The Bend
6.) Loose Cartilage
7.) Frostbite
8.) Gabriel’s Strut Dub
9.) Love Me Now
10.) Cracks In Our Crown
11.) Don’t Turn Around
12.) Settle Down
13.) Rusted Story

The Pier Album Rating:

Release Date: April 10, 2012
Record Label: Easy Star Records
Produced By: Mike Fabulous
Official Website: The Black Seeds Website

Group Background:
Based in Wellington, New Zealand, The Black Seeds mix dub, funk, soul, and R&B into a lethal cocktail of big bass and badass vibes. Dust and Dirt is the band’s fifth album following 2009’s Solid Ground and the remix compilation Specials. The album is being released in the U.S. through Easy Star Records.

Album Review:
The Black Seeds, despite being commonly labeled a reggae band, were never just a reggae band. The group’s sound always straddled the boundaries of reggae, soul, funk and R&B, a big bass stew of funky drums and searing boogie. On Dust and Dirt the group pushes their sound even further. It’s still reggae, but this is a new breed, a strand straight from The Black Seeds own personal laboratory.

In the Making of Dust and Dirt video series, the band explains that this album marks their first project in their own personal recording studio. The laid-back environment and casual vibes allowed the group to play with the music, hang out and approach the album with a relaxed, take-your-time-and-let-the-ideas-fly disposition. The end result is a far less focused approach than Solid Ground or Into the Dojo, but the group’s playful experimentation and insatiable appetite for sonic progression ultimately makes the album a far more rewarding listen.

From opener “Out of Light” to final throb of “Rusted Story,” The Black Seeds fly on a roller-coaster ride of ambitious style and eccentricity, leapfrogging between dubby atmospherics, bouncy 21st century disco and a four-the-floor heart-stopping stomp.

Every track stands out uniquely from the rest with it’s own little earmark. From the punk-spiked, jagged guitar of “Loose Cartilage” to the eerie, dark-heart-of-dub pulse of “Pippy Pip” every song neatly saddles it’s own unique space, a new territory where the applicable laws seem to have changed and the music reforms to find a brief respite in this strange, new environment.

And perhaps most importantly, the band sounds like they’re having fun. Dust and Dirt sounds light-hearted, almost childish with a let-the-sounds-go-where-they-please vibe. And, ultimately that’s what makes this a great record. There’s a sense of joy and abandon. This band doesn’t sound like they’re making music for an audience. They’re making music because they love it. And this loose, laid-back vibe ultimately just makes us, the audience, feel like an even greater part of the fun.

Written & Reviewed By: Chris Castro

[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer, expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, not the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]