For all that, the band was one of the very few diaspora acts to find an audience in Jamaica itself. Steel Pulse's wondrous reggae throb is perfectly described by the band's name: a living heartbeat as steady as steel. The early albums (especially 1978's Handsworth Revolution) remain the band's most essential, but Steel Pulse acquits itself well on the solid new album African Holocaust, its first release in five years. No political punches are pulled, from the punkish cover collage of fallen black heroes to the sprightly remake of Bob Dylan's "George Jackson." Musically, Steel Pulse resists the temptation to pile on loads of corny synths, keeping things credibly rootsy a quarter-century into its career. One of reggae's greatest bands, still rocking steady, playing for free on the riverfront -- seriously, don't miss this one.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.