The Budos Band have long brought something different to the Daptone stable. While the label specialises in revivalist soul, this Staten Island group have come through with a series of LPs that blends the Stax aesthetic with psych-rock, funk and even a little doom metal. New album V - their fifth, if that wasn’t obvious - proves that the Budos Band sound remains in rude health.
Vinyl LP £17.99 DAP-057LP
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After kicking the habit on album four, Budos Band are back on the pragmatically titled albums with V. Without hearing the album this suggests uncertainty. They tried something new last time, maybe it didn’t work. With hearing the album though… Budos Band are clearly incredibly confident in what they do. V is nothing if not assured.
What they do then is lay waste to the dance floor with big psychedelic riffs played by twin blowers on trumpet and baritone sax. This instrumentation gives anything the pair play a completely enthralling timbre. The shrill, clean and high pitched trumpet only serving to bring out the baritone’s deep, gravelly growls. The riffs are simple and catchy, but this core chemistry serves to make them endlessly listenable. Occasionally one will leave the other behind for some meaty solo, like on ‘The Enchanter’, but only ever briefly. You’ll find no sprawling free jazz here.
The rest of the band essentially provide support for these two. An incredibly tight rhythm section (with three different drummers!) is accompanied by electric guitar and organ to fill in any gaps. The production here could lean a bit heavier, the band take are clearly influenced by doom metal, but tracks can lack that visceral punch you'd expect from the genre. That said, ‘Spider Web Pt. 1’ adds further evidence to the thesis that a strategically placed cowbell can always necessarily leads to spectacular spontaneous combustion. Not that the band need such tricks to get us going, but it takes confidence to know when to use a cowbell. And Budos Band know.
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