Enslaved By Budos

Posted on August 18, 2010 by

Artist: The Budos Band
Title: Budos Band III
Label: Daptone -DAP020
Release Date: August 10, 2010
Genre: Afro Beat; Funk & Soul

It takes until Track No. 7 rolls around on Budos Band III for a tune entitled “Budos Dirge” to make its appearance. Frankly, this track should have been the title cut. The third album by this NYC-based Afro Beat outfit, the cover of which bears the visage of a coiled cobra, finds the group locked into a sound that should catch the attention of the guy planning the soundtrack to that next sequel to Conan the Barbarian. Thing is, it works! The offerings here are nothing if not disciplined, and it makes little sense to review individual cuts. Predominantly, the tracks range from three to four minutes. The bass and guitar, often doubling, lay down a minor key rhythm figure that is countered by a Fela-inspired unison horn riff. The drums pound out the deliberate– err – dirge– like tempo, and a Farfisia-sounding keyboard adds a third layer of minor key interest. Add a fierce, but economical solo by one of the horn players, and the ensemble is rolling onwards in its irresistible, relentless groove. And groove is the word here. I’ve not seen the Budos Band live, but I have to believe that the brew they’re dispensing is intoxicating to many denizens of the dance floor. The Ramones made a living in clubs for many years playing two minute installments of same sounding songs played at breakneck tempo. The Budos boys take a page from the same book, at a slackened but still driving pace. The band shares a laugh with its audience when, on the album’s final cut (“Reppirt Yad”), it tackles – and thoroughly Budosizes – the Beatles’ mid-60’s hit, “Day Tripper.” It’s as if they’re saying, “See? Even Lennon & McCartney can be enslaved to our designs.” As can we all. Easily, the Budos Band’s best outing.

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