Reviews: The Budos Band - The Budos Band II

Published at okayplayer.com

The Budos Band
The Budos Band II
Released by Daptone Records

Raw and funky with a sly psychedelic streak, the second self-titled record from ‘Staten Island Soul’-torchbearers The Budos Band is unbridled, but never unrestrained. A mix of energetic soul with an occasional strain of Afrobeat and Ethio-jazz influence filtering through, the tightness and consistency of the eleven-piece outfit—label mates to Sharon Jones’ backing band the Dap Kings—is a study in how to play, and play well. Top to bottom The Budos Band II is coherent, yet creative enough, to make it—as a wholly instrumental album—listenable. Starting with the invitingly warm and funky “Chicago Falcon,” the ensemble traverses ten individualized tracks that largely please with the possible exceptions of “Mas O Mena” and “Adeniji.” While both have interesting elements to them—the bass licks on the former, and the contrast of the airy flute with the heavy horns on the latter—they feel slightly anticlimactic in the midst of the freneticism of the rest of the album. What really makes The Budos Band II stand out that much more is the personality that the band imbibes in their playing. The off-kilter, inebriated trumpet solos on “Budos Rising” and “Scorpion” inject the tracks with a dizzying energy and the reverberating guitars and weaving melody of “King Cobra” call to mind the songs namesake.

The Budos Band are able to put an original and memorable spin on big-band playing with their second album by being consistent as a whole but incorporating elements of world rhythms and featuring instrumentation that personifies. The whole thing is bold, raw and wholly danceable—embodying the label ‘Staten Island Soul.’