(Subculture System)

Homefire Burning are a Roots Rock Reggae band from the Kapiti coast, just north of Wellington city.  If you are a fan of Katchafire, House of Shem, The Black Seeds or Steel Pulse, I suspect you will probably really enjoy Fire It Up.  The group also have a twist, vocally they perform in an equal blend of English and Te Reo.

More or less the story goes, five friends came together on the Kapiti Coast and within a year had performed at the Parihaka Peace Festival, Active89FM’s One Love Concert, toured around the lower North Island and recorded two albums. One in English, one in Te Reo.

Homefire Burning are a young band who have accomplished a lot quickly and although to a certain degree I enjoy the music they have created so far, I am far more interested to see what will emerge through their future releases and live performances. In general, musically it’s not that different to anything you’ve heard before, but there are a few moments where the band seems to step out of the Roots Rock Reggae sound and delve into something slightly more unique that may eventually become the bands true sound.

Lyrically Homefire Burning do have a depth and maturity that has often been lacking in New Zealand Roots Reggae releases – they may not necessarily be the worldliest of artists, but the singers are more then capable of expressing certain insights that will resonate with a good percentage of listeners.

All recording, engineering, mixing, mastering and production duties were handled by STL Audio’s Troy Kelly aka TKO, who coincidentally runs their record label – Subculture System – and to be honest, considering the level of time, stress and organisation required to manage all those tasks, he’s done a really good job.

It’s hard to say which way things will go for Homefire Burning from here, but I get a feeling that as long as these brothers can write and play the music they want to play they will be happy, and anything extra that comes of it will just be icing on the cake.

Martyn Pepperell