Trinity Roots’ debut album was among the first wave of albums to emerge from the Wellington reggae scene at the turn of the 21st century. The initial recordings for True were made in Oruawharu, a colonial era house in New Zealand’s Hawkes Bay. Texturally, True occupies a space between acoustic strummed guitar and deep dub grooves, with Rio Hemopo’s basslines prominent, as well as touches of soul and jazz.
As well as True captures Trinity Roots’ sound, it’s underwritten compared to 2005’s followup Home, Land and Sea, and it largely coasts by on texture and groove. The closing ‘Little Things’ is the most memorable song on True, based around a gentle acoustic guitar riff, rather than the deep grooves that fuel the album’s other songs.
True is a nicely captured snapshot of a uniquely New Zealand sound, but Trinity Roots would have stronger material for their second album.