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Solid Ground – The Black Seeds

By Chris Peken

Having perfected their own style of brass-heavy, festival-friendly reggae – populated with chilled grooves and the occasional detour into dub and funk – The Black Seeds’ last two albums went platinum in hometown New Zealand. Album number four, Sold Ground, doesn’t offer anything new, but will keep fans plenty happy. Openers Come to Me and Slingshot present with plenty of sunshine and feet-friendly beats, but a little less substance – “You know it takes some work to get that positive vibe / Some people just don’t get it sometimes / So you want to play it cool, yeah / So tell me who is the fool”. Some of the most interesting moments come via their musical detours, the brief 70’s blaxploitation funk intro of One Step at a Time and Make a Move (Dub), and the Mothership Connection, George Clinton-loving tracks Rotten Apple and Afrophone. Enough to enjoy, a bit too comfortable to really impress when you know they have it in them.