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Reviewed by Chip Matthews

Fat Freddy’s Drop: Bays

Reviewed by Chip Matthews

Fat Freddy’s Drop: Bays

BBQ’s! Reggae! One can immediately anticipate the naysayers with an oversimplified derision to two things that Kiwis actually bloody like. Almost as disingenuous as the previously and incorrectly used ‘Wellie-dub’ term. Independently released, ‘Bays’ the fourth and latest release from Wellington stalwarts, Fat Freddy’s Drop. For sure, there are reggae-laced tunes here, the excellent Slings And Arrows and, a personal fave, 10 Feet Tall. The album kicks off with a lovely revisit to an old tune, Wairunga Blues, a lovely shuffle-based groove, with the easily-recognisable Dallas Tamaira laying down some more beautiful vocals. Wheels delivers just a touch of afro over a four on the floor beat, another constant element of the album, either on the tune Razor or the storming Cortina Motors – surely a favourite of Cortina appreciator Julien Dyne. There are touches of the more downbeat angle with Makkan and Fish In The Sea, with the almost blues of Novak providing a closer. Recorded at FFD general headquarters in Wellington, overseen by the master, Mu, this album is a suitably fine follow on from all their previous releases. And as always, to this listener, there is a sense of momentum in the production, interspersed with live instrumentation from the band and select guests. Breaking new ground? Possibly not. A bloody good album? Absolutely.