Thursday, December 21, 2006

Stand Up! by Blue King Brown

In the fine tradition of Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, Michael Franti and even Public Enemy, Melbourne (having started in Byron Bay) band Blue King Brown succeed in combining potent, heartfelt social commentary with some damn fine grooves that can't help but fill a dance floor with their new release, Stand Up!. Clearly influenced by their Samoan roots, BKB have pulled together Reggae, roots and salsa rhythms to contribute another worthy entry to Aus music's growing alumnus of roots artists making some world-class sounds, including The John Butler Trio and Ash Grunwald. Be it advocating indigenous land rights on 'Water' or oppression of native peoples everywhere on 'Come and Check Your Head', Blue King Brown never cease to hammer the crap out several forms of percussion, as part of one of the country's funkiest rhythm sections, that'll keep feet tapping well into 2007. The band recently picked up the APRA Songwriters Award and Best Alternative Group at the 2005 MusicOz Awards. released on their own label 'Roots Level Records', Stand Up! is neither rooted in the past or desperately trying to sound 'now'. Sometimes great music can be nothing more than the result of a passion for something totally unrelated. Expect to hear this record pumping out of cafes over the summer; and fair enough too, I have every expectation that this will become my summer album of 2006/07.

3 1/2 stars

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