Raver Reviews: New Kingston's 'Kingston Fyah' EP (2016) | MIDNIGHT RAVER
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Raver Reviews: New Kingston’s ‘Kingston Fyah’ EP (2016)

New Kingston brings heat on their new Kingston Fyah EP signifying that this US reggae thing isn’t a follow fashion monkey business. The follow-up to their full length Easy Star debut is nothing short of extraordinary, a roots reggae album presented in showcase style, four heavy roots tunes each with a hard-hammering instrumental track. “Kingston Fyah,” the album’s first single, is one of the finest reggae tunes of 2016, taking a seat alongside Kiddus-I’s Flying at Knots , Kenyatta Hill’s Police Man , and Chronixx’ Out Deh.”  The production is a heavy modern roots sound with a vintage vibe featuring a signature throwback guitar skank, bubbling keys, and truly talented vocal performances from brothers Stephen, Courtney Jr., and Tahir.

As I wrote in my review of Kingston City, New Kingston displays a remarkably expansive vocal range, refreshingly adept musicianship, and musical sensibilities that span many sub-genres within reggae. For three kids from Brooklyn, New Kingston brings a sound as authentic and inspiring as any from Jamaica, proving once again that reggae has certainly gone foreign. Lyrically the brothers are brilliant and on-point on tunes like “Kingston Fyah” (“Youth dem go to school and you teach dem pure lie, half dem outta seat and don’t know dem shoe size, pocketful of paper just to make it feel right, anything just to get by”) and “Ready” (“Let dem know we ready fi di war, show dem that you’re solid as a rock, you can hear these roots from afar, I a rebel yeah we a rebel”).

The group makes a minor misstep with “Flowers Bloom,” an awkward and discordant ode to the herb, however, the strength of tunes like “Kingston Fyah,” “Coming Right Away,” and “Ready” make for a worthwhile set. Kingston Fyah is certainly one of the most significant reggae releases of 2016, a tight set of modern roots by a fine group of multi-talented musicians and singers. The EP proves once again that New Kingston is indeed “ready fi di war.”





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