Menahan Street Band
The Exciting Sounds Of Menahan Street Band
Perhaps best known as the backing bands for late neo-soul icon Charles Bradley, Menahan Street Band has returned with its first record in nearly a decade. The Exciting Sounds Of Menahan Street Band follows 2012’s The Crossing with 14 funky, soulful, and fresh instrumental tracks.
The Exciting Sounds Of Menahan Street Band is a truly cinematic collection of music. With a sound that could set the tone and atmosphere of a Tarantino film, while invoking the setting of decades long past, The Exciting Sounds Of Menahan Street Band conjures visuals of cinema noir and Los Angeles in the ‘60s.
Naturally, the record is a complete vibe that while founded on nostalgia and reminiscing for the past, is driven by excellent musicianship and strong songwriting. “The Starchaser” delivers a level of fanfare with its leading guitar riff, while “The Duke” sounds as if it was pulled straight out of Ocean’s Eleven with a ‘70s club flair. Being ever so thematic, “Devil’s Respite” brings a both a somber and uplifting tone between the verse and chorus, whereas “Snow Day” starts slowly and builds organically in a simplistic and pleasing manner. Another highlight is the psychedelic “Cabin Fever” that could easily fit in nearly any Tarantino film thanks to its siren-like synth and horns over a tight groove. While each song seems to deliver more and more of what listeners want from the Menahan Street Band, it is the album’s closing track, “There Was A Man”, a reflective jazz waltz in the style of Duke Ellington, that samples Bradley’s vocals for a second as the song opens. It is a grand farewell that, rather than dwell in melancholy, soars in triumph and appreciation, a true celebration of the life, music, and legacy of their fearless leader.
The Menahan Street Band has struck gold, as always, with their latest album. The long-awaited record is a masterclass in musical performance, taste, and sophistication. This is a band that can blow most out of the water with their musicianship; however, they choose to revel in the simple and sublime, ultimately delivering an instrumental masterpiece that should inspire artists of all styles. The Exciting Sounds Of Menahan Street Band lives up to its name with 14 dynamic tracks making a record that, front to back, is a thrilling musical experience.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: MENAHAN STREET BAND – THE EXCITING SOUNDS OF MENAHAN STREET BAND