Several years ago I wrote a story on what I called the Jamaican band craze. The story was about the fact that many new bands had emerged in Jamaica over just a few years. Some of the bands mentioned in the piece was Dubtonic Kru, Uprising Roots Band and Raging Fyah.
These three outfits have since been followed by numerous other acts and one of the most recent ones is EarthKry, a quartet that dropped their debut EP Hard Road in 2015. And that promising set has now been followed by a full-length album.
Survival is its title and it’s just as solid as the debut EP. EarthKry shares stories of survival from daily life – personal struggles, financial hardship – as well as commenting the state of the world with topics such as war and health issues.
Just like fellow Jamaican band Third World EarthKry shares a potent blend of reggae, funk and soul. Check the pulsating Praise Jah, the funky Do What You Got To Do or Table Turn, which is powered by a ferocious bass line and high – almost angelic – backing vocals. It’s a real treat.
After the success of excellent Jamaican bands like Dubtonic Kru, Uprising Roots, Raging Fyah, C Sharp, No-Maddz, Mystikal Revolution and Pentateuch comes Earthkry. This fresh quartet formed – just like a host of the other bands – at the acclaimed Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston.
They have spent two years together writing songs, rehearsing and playing live in Jamaica. Their self-produced debut single 9 to 5 was released earlier this year, and it’s now followed by a five track EP. It showcases a classic roots rock reggae sound with live instrumentation, beautiful melodies and conscious lyrics echoing tribulations of everyday life and cries for social change.
When recording the superb Hard Road they have been working under the guidance of veteran reggae musicians like trombonist Ronald “Nambo” Robinson and former Third World keyboardist Michael “Ibo” Cooper along with producers Sam Clayton and Stephen Stewart, who currently runs the legendary Harry J studio.
Together they have crafted a solid and very promising debut set.