Sunday, 6 October 2013

Black Joe Lewis - Electric Slave

Album review by jay@thesoundofconfusion.co.uk


There are times when I try to pick a font that matches the music that I am listening to. (I realise that this may be a bit sad). Now I tried a few for this album. Not one fitted. No surprise really because they don't have one that that lets you write in MUTHAFUNKINSOULBRUDDAROITHOUSEBADASS font. If you've been paying attention to us over this last week, then you will already be familiar with the outlandish, behemoth of groove and soul, of hollerin' and stompin' that is 'Electric Slave''s opener, the eternally fantastic 'Skulldiggin'. You could stop right there, but like a fine wine, or a finer woman, the sonic sucker punch hit that is this album just keeps on giving. And what a hillbilly punkiod blast of righteous fury 'Young Girl' is. Man, this grabs you by the balls and swings you round by those hairy ones. And you just wanna it to do it again. Harder. Like The Stooges humping The Cramps to give you a sexy, web-toed momma that you want to watch shake her behind all night long. It's dirty, but who gives a damn.

Then we are taken back in a grand (funk) style. This is wearing Bootsy's star-shaped shades, born out of Funkadelic's mothership. I haven't been funked this hard since riding the blacktop with James Brown on PCP. It has the best use of ragged guitars, Stax horns and pure undiluted essence of funk n'roll since Rare Earth celebrated. Then we are squeezing the lemon over Zepp-sized riffage and low-slung War Ridin' groove of 'My Blood Ain't Runnin' Right'. By now you are getting more luck than Ron Jeremy on Viagra, your afro is bigger than Rob Tyner's and you shake better than Tina after seeing her (nut) bush limit. This is amphetamine-powered, sky-high trippin' glory only surpassed by, fuck I don't know what... 'Guilty' allows you to wipe up the sweat and cum, but it is housing the dirtiest sax seen this century. Then again, you are sent on a mega space-high on the hell and brimstone, rocket-propelled guitar, before in true, Elvis-in-Vegas, style, things are taken down n' down before that sax blasts your eyebrows off. Coming in on the best Blaxploitation riff since 'Shaft', 'Come To My Party' welcomes you into it's (Sly) stoned party. If this soundtracked a party in your house, you wouldn't have anyone complaining; for anyone who knocked on the door would wake three days later in someone else's clothes, next to a empty goldfish bowl, with a slight sense of violation but knowing they have just been to the best party of their life.

It's all then taken down low. And I mean subterranean low. Slung on the deepest, riff, on a groove so deep it will vibrate through the planet when the sax inhibits it. This is the moment when the whole world falls into place as your level of whiskey, beer and whatever hits right and you become a giant peacock strutting through the valley of the dolls. This is the 6.46 minutes of salacious wonder that is 'Vampires'. So is there going to be a weak spot to 'Electric Slave? An Achilles heel? God-damn NO is there. This is wrapped in a fur-lined coat of Kevlar and sequins, with bombproof 10" platforms. Stomping all over you next, like a prom queen getting down with the history teacher while his wife watches, is 'Make Dat Money'. It has a looser than before feel, but it still drops napalm-filled bombs of horns, screaming guitar and "muthafucker" vocals.

In the first second the charging pound of 'The Hipster' hit me I was up, and hollerin' and "fuckin' that shit". This is the sound of the 31st century Blues Brothers. Like Jake and Elroy getting their money-maker down on Planet 69, rolling in the velvet lips of some blue-skinned naked wonder. By now my girl, child, dog and cat were all up and a shakin'. As the song took us further and further out there the dog and cat were jiving across the room while the children had inked "Love" and "Hate" on their knuckles. Don't ask what my girl was up to, but let's just say I ain't gonna stop smiling for a week. If I remember, Golem's catchphrase was "here my pretty", and this is the only thing that this and that Golem have to common. For this is more low down, fuzzed-up, Sasquatch-sized funk beast than anything that Tolkien could ever dream off. Aragorn would have slayed middle earth in one horn-fuelled blast from his stars n' stripes emblazoned sword. And so it is at an end. But we are riding out on a rocket marked for funk filled oblivion with 'Mammas Queen'. What a way to go out. If this was to soundtrack to our oblivion then bring on armageddon. We're gonna ride this all the way to supernova. My god I just exploded. Hear this and your life will be better for it.





Black Joe Lewis' website

Stream the album in full

Buy the album

Catch them live:

Oct 31 ACL Live at the Moody Theater, Austin, TX  
Nov 22 Chelsea's Cafe, Baton Rouge, LA
Nov 25 Bluebird, Denver, CO
Nov 26 Urban Lounge, Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 27 Neurolux, Boise, ID
Nov 29 Neptune Theatre, Seattle, WA
Nov 30 Rickshaw, Vancouver, Canada
Dec 01 Wonder Ballroom, Portland, OR
Dec 02 Humboldt Brews, Arcata, CA
Dec 03 Fillmore, San Francisco, CA
Dec 05 El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
Dec 06 House of Blues, San Diego, CA
Dec 07 Club Congress, Tucson, AZ
Dec 08 Lowbrow Palace, El Paso, TX





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