I got handed this CD the other week by a guy I know. That guy is Tony from Gas Grooves and he is lucky he had the CD because I was about to give him some more grief for not having the CD yet.
I was introduced to Tony by my brother who has a copy of the first Gas CD. My brother likes that CD and figured that as we are both musicians we should be put together. After a few brief chats with Tony over a few times, I found out that there was a Gas album in-the-can (recorded but not released). That broke my rule of a new record every 6 months so he got The Talk.
Maybe I shouldn’t do that. But I just knew that the record Gas Grooves was hiding was a good one and what kind of person would I be if I knew that (even tho I hadn’t heard a note) and let it slide? Also, I could see that this unreleased record had Tony stalled in himself. Even if the record was a bit average it needed to be put out. Lucky for all Tony acted like a pro and let himself get prodded into action.
So a month or so later I got the CD and popped it on. Straight up there is “Light Up My Life” and I knew I was right as here is a slinky, funky, cool song that is radio-ready. Phew.
So if you haven’t already started listening to the album on the link I gave you above then let me explain what I hear. Acid Jazz is probably the term used these days so you can be thinking Jamiroquai or Brand New Heavies and not be too far off. I’m old so it was called Jazz Funk or Jazz Disco when I was a kid and Shakatak were the slinky, funky, cool band on the block. If you are an Aussie like me then there are also shades of Wa Wa Nee (who were a lot more talented than many thought).
This record is very nicely produced indeed. It is super polished but that never seems to take the attention from the music itself. As you probably know, production trickery over “heart” is one of my greatest bugbears so well done to Corey Pryor for getting that balance right.
The singer has a really nice engaging voice. Couple that with the smooth, White-Boy Funk backings that just seem to call women of all ages to dance and this is a winner. This really is the perfect take-home piece for people who have been at the show and want to feel that groove again in their car or lounge room. Job well done and perfect for getting the band to the next stage.
If I were to put on my critical hat (and you know I can never help myself): I would really like to hear a little more emphasis on the songs themselves. After the first song, the grooves are great but what stops me from wanting to pop this on after Springsteen’s “Born To Run” is that most of the tracks establish the groove and a single idea but that idea doesn’t expand into anything like a story. How do I know this? Because I find myself forgetting the songs after they are over and I shouldn’t do that. Let me explain;
Right now Joan Jett is telling me that “Love Is Pain” – and it was when I realized 30 years on I was always wasting my love 🙁 Ms. Jett starts with a big set of chunky Rock chords so that is her groove. She then lays down a challenge. Joan could have stopped there but the song would have no penetration (!). The verses lay out a tiny bit more of the scene or story so I feel complete by the time her 3 mins are up. That means I want to do it again, and again, and again. This is what gets an act in the charts and delivers long-term interest.
If you are looking for something new to groove to then do yourself a favor and check out Gas Groove’s L.O.V.E album as it really is a pretty darned good good-time record. If you buy the record you will get a little slab of fun but also let Tony and the boys know that you want them to make another, record. I know I want that.