Trinity Roots Album Reviews

20th century New Zealand music was often Caucasian in origin, with the most internationally recognised musicians coming either from the Flying Nun stable of twisted guitar pop or the mainstream pop of the Finn Brothers. The early 21st century saw a proliferation of reggae influenced bands with Polynesian origins. Trinity Roots, a Wellington based trio, fuse dub and soul into arty, spacey songs while infusing a distinctly New Zealand atmosphere. The repetition and restrained atmosphere draw out the innate beauty of the songs. While contemporary bands such as Fly My Pretties and Fat Freddy’s Drop are dispensable, often justifiably labelled by their detractors as “BBQ Reggae”, Trinity Roots have always felt like the lasting band from the scene. While their albums can sometime meander,  their music has a spiritual element which gives it gravitas.

The group is led by guitarist and vocalist Warren Maxwell, while Rio Hemopo contributes harmony vocals and bass. Riki Gooch was the drummer during the group’s initial 1998-2005 tenure, while Ben Wood drummed on the 2015 reunion album Citizen. I’ve never heard Citizen, and it’s generally received poor reviews, but the band’s first two albums are a nice taste of New Zealand for adventurous music fans.