SIMO - 'Rise & Shine' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 08, 2018    
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A thing of beauty and fun.

Can we close the lists, please? Those Album Of The Year lists? Can we at least discuss it because SIMO's second album, 'Rise & Shine', might be the best of the bunch?
Seen recently in Manchester, they seemed keen to move on to something. If it was this, it was worth it. Their debut was good but sometimes seemed a softly accessible thing. This? This is power, fun, enjoyment and purpose with a beautiful bow; this is a band who are prepared to go manipulate sound to serve these songs.

What have they done to the mix? Their production has deadened the sound of the drums, toughened up the bass, removed the vocals to another room and re-tooling the guitars as a spitting cobra. Sounds awful? It really works to make this album a seventies Soul and Funk delight. From the moment 'Return' and its clicked fingers announce their intention, laying back with a slithering solo, and 'Meditation' holding back the Funk, letting the bass give us all we need until they can hold on no longer and a Rock Candy Funk Party workout occurs, you know this is something very special. Throw into the pot the ass-shaking fuzzy bass, tightly wound verse and Jimi Hendrix-alike middle of stunner 'People Say' or 'The Climb', an instrumental with snatches of JFK, a squelchy bass full of water and a sixties cop show soundtrack centre, and this is beginning to look like a diamond.

To do this would be enough but they do more. Look at the authentic sounding seventies Soul ballad 'I Want Love', all Falsetto vocals, aching Blues moments and messy build which drops out perfectly. Think this is enough? Not for them. The final track is a thirteen minute centrepiece called 'I Pray', an atmospheric glacial guitar taking a walk in the middle and eventually setting the controls for the heart of the sun and blasts off – always connected.

This album took shape on the road, in hotel rooms, as J.D. Simo (guitar and vocals), Adam Abrashoff (drums) and Elad Shapiro (bass) got to know each other and raided their record collections. This is the sound of SIMO opening up, sure, but it's also the sound of a band taking control of those influences and creating a thing of beauty and fun. Such a step up from the debut; rise, go to the record store, purchase and watch this baby Shine.

Steve Swift

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