Towards the end of 2022 I was asked to review the ‘Limited Edition’ EP by this band, and to be honest I was not too sure about undertaking it as this is a reggae act, a genre I confess to knowing virtually nothing about. I found I really enjoyed it, although I was massively unqualified to say anything about it, so when John asked if I would like to review the album of course I agreed. The band comprise John Michaelz (vocals /rhythm guitar), Mike Kirk (guitars) and the Black brothers, Gary Black (bass, backing vocals) and Wayne Black (drums, backing vocals). All four are highly regarded in the NZ Music scene, having been around for many years (John being nominated for a TUI Award back in 2010 for his Gospel album ‘Walk On Water’, Mike even joining Manchester-based punk band The Rodents when was there in the Seventies while the Black brothers have a career spanning more than 50 years, working with a seemingly endless list of artists such as Prince Tui Teka, Dalvanius, Brendan Dugan and many more).

Of the ten songs on the album, three appeared on the EP, and they are probably the only reggae tracks I have listened to in the last eighteen months, but when I put this on, I was immediately deep inside the music, wondering why I have not investigated the genre before. There is guitar noodling, rich organs providing the bedrock, the strike on the third beat of the bar, and vocals which take the listener into a different realm altogether. There is no aggression, unlike much of the music I listen to out of choice, but a feeling of calm and acceptance and soon I found various parts of my body were moving in time to the groove.

I have no terms of reference to say how this compares to the different styles or reggae, or whether a purist would enjoy this and who this has obviously been influenced by, as I do not have that knowledge or understanding. What I can say is I really enjoyed playing it, and “Do The Do’s” should be a radio hit in any genre. For a reggae outsider such as myself this is a wonderful way of being introduced to the genre – well worth investigating.

Rating: 8/10