The Black Seeds Solid Ground

Musically, the Black Seeds find themselves on very solid ground with this release, but that foundation becomes shaky if you spend too much time listening to Barnaby Weir's ultra-banal musings on life. New Zealand's popular reggae funksters have teamed up with hip American reggae label Easy Star for this release and that's bound to bounce them further into the North American consciousness. Tracks like "Come To Me," "Take Your Chances," and "Make A Move" are sure to put to rest criticism that their music is, at times, self-indulgent and boring. Here, the band keep the hypnotic dub-iness to a minimum in favour of tight arrangements with poppy riffs. Elsewhere, the groove-heavy "Send A Message," "The Bubble" and "Strugglers Dub" will please dub seekers. But as with other Black Seeds projects, I find myself longing for an instrumental album to get away from the cliché-ridden lyrics ― turn up the bass, turn down the lyrics. (Easy Star)