Sneaky Pete and The Secret Weapons have returned with their second full length album ‘Liftoff’. The band incorporates everything from post-punk to funk to jazzy lounge music in their genre-pushing effort.
Needless to say, greatness is easy to spot and it’s right here on their amazing sophomore album.
The quintet have balanced their Jazz, Ska, Hip-Hop and New Orleans influences with creative song structuring on their newest LP.
The band reflects on their mountaineering lifestyle with horn driven melodies and direct lyrics.
One look at the album opener would have you thinking that the LP is just an instrumental album, that is; just an all-beat-no-vocals kind of song. ‘Clown Shoes’ is the first song on the EP and it brought back a lot of old memories… Somewhere along the line I was all meshed in the burgeoning bloom of the sound, the legendary late king of Afropop and alternative funk music; Fela, came to mind.
Things got askew a little bit faster when the second song in the album ‘Bad Bad Man’ came to play. That vocal and sizzling, unhinged, over the top delivery of funk and bravado brought by SP&SW is a thrill that can kill. They have gained a reputation for their impressive live shows and high energy performances that have led them to share the stage with the likes of Trombone Shorty, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band and The Revivalists amongst others.
Liftoff is a diverse body of work featuring the funky 5/4 jam “See Ya in 5” penned by drummer Philip Walker. The magic of the saxophone was felt most on ‘See Ya In 5’ although the sound started off with a slow beat, the transcending melodic sound of the saxophone was there to make up for the overly slow vibe of the song.
‘20 Below’ is also in the same league with the previous track. Nothing really super spectacular can be pointed out from this track aside from the effect of its calming power with trumpet sounds played by Bobby Griffith and Jack Tolan on the guitar.
Liftoff isn’t gonna be complete without ‘Shelf Life’ a perfect submersion of two sonorous voices doing a duet on a single song— this track is particularly tethered to a glorious past life. The female vocalist on this particular track, Seadar Rose-Davis, is just that amazing. She further coated the song with her distinctive voice.
It mostly seems like the arrangement of the tracks are done in a way that have long instrumental beats usher in the vocal part of the song. ‘Zig Zag (I like to dance)’ is somewhat comical and the shortest song in terms of playtime. It ended too early for me. The next song sets the tone with a wobbly synth ushering in a warehouse of sounds over the next four minutes coupled with the trumpet wails that were enchanting.
One of the most melodically-conscious and enthralling soul songs in the album is ‘BAS’ it has this unique sound and soothing beat coupled with a simple pitch of magical trumpeting. The ethos of the track is its celestial ability to transfix the listeners.
The 10 tracks successfully tear through the album with traces of funk, punk, jazz, soul, and garage rock; like they were culled from a crate digger’s weekend score.
I’m summary, based on what I heard while listening to the tracks in Liftoff, the creativity of the band and their delivery; I’m rating this whole album 4.8/5.