Thursday, September 27, 2007


From Alternative Press:

Heavy Lies The Crown
The third full-length from New York hardcore/metal titans Full Blown Chaos holds to the pattern of their first two. So if you're down with an endless series of moshpit-propelling riffs and breakdowns, plus the occasional solo, while some thick-necked (and thicker-waisted) dude barks at you about unity, inner strength, betrayal and so on...Well, FBC do it about as well as it's been done since Judge broke up. FBC were ushered into the limelight by Jamey Jasta, releasing their first two albums on his Stillborn label, but these guys stomp much harder than Hatebreed, incorporating influences from Pantera, Slayer and even Napalm Death into their vein-popping riff-fests. The guitar-drums team of brothers Mike and Jeff Facci keep it crushing at all times, and if you're not shouting along with the gang vocals by album's end, you should just go listen to the Plain White T's or something.

From Jazziz:

No Place Like Soul
Jazz/funk/soul crew Soulive have featured numerous high-profile guests on previous albums, including John Scofield, Robert Randolph, Chaka Khan, and rappers Talib Kweli and Black Thought, among others. Formerly on Blue Note, they migrated to Concord in 2005 and are now the flagship act for the revived Stax Records, former home of soul legends such as Isaac Hayes, Sam and Dave, and Otis Redding.

This gives them a lot to live up to on their label debut, and luckily for their fervid fan base, they've met the challenge head on. Having become a quartet with the addition of full-time lead vocalist Toussaint, they're deep in the groove on these 13 raw but radio- and casual-listener-friendly songs.

The lurching groove of "Comfort" provides an admirable showcase for organist Neal Evans, as his drumming brother Alan thwacks the beat home behind him. The group occasionally heads off on unwise tangents, like the jam-scene-friendly fake reggae of "If This World Was A Song," "Callin'," and "Morning Light," but they redeem themselves handily with "Outrage," a hard blues-funk instrumental that's a superb showcase for guitarist Eric Krasno. The thick, molasses rhythm of "Yeah Yeah" is basically a four-minute argument for seeing Soulive in person, as it's the kind of track that'll drive a willing audience into an ass-shaking, hand-waving frenzy. And the album's next-to-last track, the instrumental "Bubble," makes them sound like an arena-rock version of Medeski, Martin & Wood. Though Toussaint never truly embarrasses himself, more instrumentals would be welcome, because these guys can really play, and play together, which is a rare thing. No Place Like Soul is ultimately a highly rewarding album for soul and funk freaks, barefoot jam-band fans - and pretty much anybody with a taste for groove.

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