CD Reviews

Rock Candy Funk Party - 'Groove Is King' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 21, 2016    
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Scraps of interesting Funk with frustratingly little chance to tickle you.

Linked to us because of Joe Bonamassa, that scion of Blues brilliance, touching so many different musical styles, this is his Funky freedom, a group of musical marvels who are not demonstrative but are demons with the notes. The first album, 'We Want Groove', was a tightly-plotted piece of sublime syncopation which was almost overbalanced by Bonamassa's occasionally anodyne forays.

After a pristine live album, this is different. They have stretched out a bit, modernised a little and Rocked it up. And in the process, they produce music that we like alright, but also what we expect.

Ring mastered by Mr Funkademus, Billy Gibbons no less, some of the early tracks here tend to fade out, giving the impression that they are less songs, more exercises in music. The title cut has an itchy shaking with a pushy melody, 'Uber Station' is a behemoth with parping horns and a filthy guitar, dirtying up a solo reeking with sin, but just peters out, as if the beast was frightened by a mouse.

And the middle has songs that are too long for what they are, gossamer thin or wandering round looking for action; this despite a bit of Talking Heads goodness, Salsa and a splendid Jazz Fusion Electric Joanna.

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But then they find something., come back! There is not a huge difference from Funk and it's the energy that's important rather than John Travolta's high-waisted troos. Horns, a tasty trumpet, perfect percussion and lots of poke in 'Don't Be Stingy With The SMPTE' and a more propulsive, Miles Davis widdling 'Don't Funk With Me' and when 'The 6 Train To The Bronx' adds those unmistakable 1970's Disco sweeping strings, things take an even better turn, even if Uncle Joe's Jazzy solos almost push it to the brink.

Oh, and closer 'The Fabulous Tales Of Two Bands' sounds nothing more like Pendulum, a banging beat for them to hang shredding solos and a Classic Rock feel with some spiky Prodigy beats.

Brilliantly played of course, with all the excellence that allows them to lay back cos they've earned it, this sometimes drags those songs back to bed with them; scraps of interesting Funk with frustratingly little chance to tickle you, they only really start to breathe when the glitter ball spins and Chic rule the dancefloor.

Undeniably great at what they do, Rock Candy Funk Party have decided to shake it up a little. The shake, Okay. That rattle? Their shattered halo. The roll? Some people's eyes when they hear the Disco strings.

Steve Swift

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