The Black Seeds

Solid Ground
September 14, 2008

Barnaby Weir has always appeared to think of himself as some sort of mystic advisor, and that hasn’t changed on The Black Seeds’ fourth album.

The acclaimed Wellington roots band have once again combined pounding bass rhythms with front man Weir’s karmic reflections and dish up a tasty platter of dub-reggae-pop nuggets of gold.

Solid Ground’s standout track is the single Slingshot, coupling a bass line that could shatter your foundations with Weir’s lyrics musing universal balances “coming back around”. It’s a stunt repeated on One Step at a Time, Make a Move, Take Your Chances and Rotten Apple. Enough to ensure the octet another No. 1 album.

When the pace shifts to the more placid tracks, Weir’s lyrics surface for closer examination, and I’m afraid they don’t hold up too well.

Cheesy crooning like, “Bring forth the goodness in your spirit, share in the kindness of your heart” on Love is a Radiation, and rhyming “yeah” with… “yeah” does not satisfy the quest for lyrical substance.

Then, on Send a Message, Weir starts sounding like a more-serious version of Mike Myers’ Love Guru: “Don’t close the door on love … because it does exist inside your heart, every beat can send the message out.”

However…with its catchy horn lines and toe-tapping riffs this album is bound to bring a prompt smile to skanking reggae lovers. Heck, you can smell that dusty summer festival already.

Have The Black Seeds landed on Solid Ground?