Love Forever arrived nearly 30 years after New Age Steppers previous punky reggae party. The fresh foray, written, co-produced, and driven by force of nature, Ari Up – who was then – following stints in the jungles of Indonesia and Belize – based in Kingston, Jamaica. Lead vocal duties are split between Ari and Adrian Sherwood’s oldest daughter, Denise. Ari`s son, and Adrian’s youngest providing backing. The Ari-led numbers are warrior charges. Digital jump-up, busy with bursts of buzzing sub-bass. Graced with gated trance synths, and armour-plated, steam-rollering techno / house bleep. Spinning with sound effects. Punch drunk with percussion. Drum machines rattling like loosened teeth.
My Nerves is a proper, pogoing, punk rock attack. Its Batman Theme bass-line belted out as if played by an amphetamine freak. A cranked up (high) piece of (French) blue beat. Guitar gouging away like an industrial drill. Denise in contrast delivers tautly twisted torch songs of love gone wrong – accompanied in places by Portishead-esque submerged piano and strings. Both of them railing against oppression. On the one hand, Babylon – politicians and organized religion – and on the other broken, fucked, relationships.
On-U Sound have remastered and are reissuing New Age Steppers entire back catalogue. You can learn more over at Bandcamp and Bleep.