14 Songs, 55 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

This exciting English ensemble recycles the time-tested sounds of gritty funk, silky soul jazz, and bustling boogaloo and emerges with a refreshing and electrifying bag of their own. With drummer Simon Allen and bassist Pete Shand propelling the rhythm section, the ample grooves don’t plod, they pop; the beats are heavy but snappy, grounded but nimble; the music just seems to leap out of your speakers. “Witness,” originally by London hip-hopper Roots Manuva, has a Meters-on-acid feel, with Eddie Roberts’s guitar scratch calling to mind that of Leo Nocentelli while organist Bob Birch dances between funky Art Neville-like fills and otherworldly explorations. Thanks in part to Rob Lavers’s floating flute, “Carrot Juice” offers a bright, bluesy, psychedelic-‘60s vibe, while the full-speed-ahead “Talk Is Cheap” gets a big boost from Lavers on sax. “Thirty Three” builds on an insistent groove that allows Roberts to dig in and Birch to soar. “Hey Fela!” with Lavers again on flute, adds a tinge of African flair to the mix, while “L.A. Root Down” moves things in a dub direction. Remarkably, they’re able to reconstruct in the studio the exhilarating feel of their live shows, no small feat indeed.

EDITORS’ NOTES

This exciting English ensemble recycles the time-tested sounds of gritty funk, silky soul jazz, and bustling boogaloo and emerges with a refreshing and electrifying bag of their own. With drummer Simon Allen and bassist Pete Shand propelling the rhythm section, the ample grooves don’t plod, they pop; the beats are heavy but snappy, grounded but nimble; the music just seems to leap out of your speakers. “Witness,” originally by London hip-hopper Roots Manuva, has a Meters-on-acid feel, with Eddie Roberts’s guitar scratch calling to mind that of Leo Nocentelli while organist Bob Birch dances between funky Art Neville-like fills and otherworldly explorations. Thanks in part to Rob Lavers’s floating flute, “Carrot Juice” offers a bright, bluesy, psychedelic-‘60s vibe, while the full-speed-ahead “Talk Is Cheap” gets a big boost from Lavers on sax. “Thirty Three” builds on an insistent groove that allows Roberts to dig in and Birch to soar. “Hey Fela!” with Lavers again on flute, adds a tinge of African flair to the mix, while “L.A. Root Down” moves things in a dub direction. Remarkably, they’re able to reconstruct in the studio the exhilarating feel of their live shows, no small feat indeed.

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