Sunday, November 22, 2015

Review of Lettuce’s Album Crush

Brooklyn-based funk stalwarts Lettuce released their much-anticipated fourth studio album Crush earlier this month. The acclaimed groove outfit didn’t disappoint on this stellar effort, bringing tons of deep funk and raw soul to the mix.

One of the standout tracks on Crush is the blistering rock/funk instrumental “Silverdome,” which boasts some face-melting guitar work from Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff and Eric Krasno. There’s some serious Funkadelic-meets-Zeppelin flavor going on in this track.

Another strong cut from the collection is the immensely soulful cover of Bobbie Gentry's “He Made a Woman Out of Me,” featuring an earthy vocal performance from guest vocalist Alecia Chakour.

“The New Reel” has a cool filmic vibe, and the percolating “Pocket Change” features some fantastic drumming from Adam Deitch. Also, Neal Evans’ keyboard work is top-notch here.

“Sounds Like a Party” is a fun, raucous dance jam. Deitch holds the groove down with a phat, booty-shakin’ beat, and Erick “Jesus” Coomes serves up an irresistible bassline; the track also features a splendid vocal performance from Nigel Hall. The groove has some vintage old-school flavor, giving a nod to rowdy party tracks from the ‘70s.

“Get Greasy” is aptly titled, because this is definitely some greasy funk. The nasty funk groove showcases sax man Ryan Zoidis and trumpeter Eric “Benny” Bloom’s impressive playing abilities. Their contributions elevate the groove to its maximum funkatude.

"Chief” is a ferocious funk jam with dynamic horn lines and some great Hammond B3 organ work from Evans. The track also features a scorching guitar solo and super-tight drumming.

And on the other end of the sound spectrum, there's “Phyllis,” an intoxicating and atmospheric track with a marvelous arrangement. It sets a really chill mood.

Lettuce covers a variety of moods and styles on Crush, displaying their tremendous versatility and considerable chops as musicians; the band effortlessly navigates the waters of deep funk, psychedelia, hip hop, hard rock, classic soul and other styles on this inspired collection. It’s a very impressive effort in which the band effectively captures the energy and excitement of their powerful live shows.

In other Lettuce news, Let’s Us Play, an in-depth documentary about the band, premiered November 17 at the Angelika Film Center in NYC. The band also has a bunch of tour dates lined up over the next few months. So there's a lot of cool Lettuce-related stuff going on at the moment.

The full Crush album is available for listening or to download at Lettuce’s website.

"Silverdome"


"Sounds Like a Party"


Official Trailer for Let's Us Play

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