Steel Pulse drops first album in 15 years, ‘Mass Manipulation’
Birmingham, England roots-reggae legendary band Steel Pulse has done it again! 15 years since their last album, forming founder David Hinds and the group have given fans Mass Manipulation, a 17-track record that will, for sure, be a front runner for a GRAMMY nod this year. The band has produced 12 albums since their formation in 1975, with their 1986 release Babylon The Bandit winning a GRAMMY and making them the first non-Jamaican reggae band to take home the trophy. Their records Victims (1991), Rastafari Centennial (1992), Rage and Fury (1998) and Living Legacy (2000) were all nominated for GRAMMYs, as well.
'Mass Manipulation' re-establishes the groups' stance on the state of the world today.
Giving fans a taste of the album, the band released their first single "Stop You Coming and Come" in December of 2018. The album dropped officially as of May 17th, following the March kickoff of their North American tour. For this album, the band elected not to take the traditional route of using a major label. Shunning larger labels they have worked with in the past, Steel Pulse chose to partner with Rootfire Cooperative, a nonprofit label allowing artists to record with interest-free loans to produce and market their recorded music while maintaining 100% ownership.
Steel Pulse took several years to write the album and included with the new songs is a sweet cover with a solid reggae twist of Steve Winwood's "Higher Love". Steel Pulse has stayed true to their decades' old message of the power of music, bringing people together and its ability to be the voice of generations, speaking out against the injustices of the world. Hinds hopes to ignite and motivate a new generation while still rallying old-school fans. This album addresses present-day issues: everything from human trafficking and police shootings of unarmed civilians to stopping the pillaging of Africa and its natural resources by foreigners, all the while thanking reggae greats who paved the way for this album to exist. Mass Manipulation re-establishes the groups' stance on the state of the world today.
The band has come a long way since opening for Bob Marley's 1978 Kaya tour in Europe, reaching milestones like signing with big name labels allowing for increased exposure and enabling them to become the first perform on the Jay Leno Show to making history as the first reggae band that was asked by Bill Clinton to perform at a Presidential Inauguration. Even though there have been member changes over the last four decades, their sound is transcendent over time. Steel Pulse members have grown as musicians, making way for the recent sounds coming out of bands today. With deep moving lyrics, a horn section like no other, perfectly blended guitars and drums to get you dancing along, Steel Pulse lights up the stage! If you didn't catch their recent set at the amazing Cali Roots Festival in Monterey over Memorial Day Weekend, you can relive the fun through photos and reviews by the fabulous Sean McCracken, glamorous Gia Krietzberg and rockin' Kristy Rose! Don't miss Steel Pulse this summer!
Purchase or stream Mass Manipulation album:
- Zem Dem
- Stop You Coming and Come
- Thank The Rebels
- Justice In Jena
- Human Trafficking
- Cry Cry Blood
- Don't Shoot
- Trinkets and Beads?
- No Satan Side
- Mass Manipulation
- World Gone Mad
- Black and White Oppressors
- The Final Call
- Higher Love (Rasta Love)
- Nations Of The World
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.