Album review: Newtown Rocksteady, Goin' Steady

By Lydia Jenkin

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Album cover for Goin' Steady. Photo / Supplied
Album cover for Goin' Steady. Photo / Supplied

Wellington 13-piece Newtown Rocksteady have been growing for the last four years, entertaining crowds with their large five-piece horn section, grooving rocksteady rhythms, and bring-the-party attitude. Their recent appearance at Womad confirmed their talents for wooing a crowd, and this extended EP (10 tracks) is a reflection of their live appeal. They're not reinventing the wheel, but they do a beautiful job of presenting the late 60s Jamaican craze known as rocksteady, melded with reggae, dub, a little ska, a sprinkling of dancehall. It's not all about sunshine though. Standout track Rhodesia II is all dark clouds and stormy seas in the muggy heat, and the four "dub" versions have a deep, smokey vibe. Each band member could be mentioned for musicianship - the keys are beautifully warm, the percussion light and sensitive, the guitars authentically staccato - but their strength is as a tasteful, sharp, ensemble.

Stars: 3.5/5

- TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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