Man, sometimes album titles tell the truth. Even band names! “Groove is King” by ROCK CANDY FUNK PARTY is a super group with TAL BERGMAN, RON DeJESUS, JOE BONAMASSA, MIKE MERRITT, RENATO NETO (ex MICHAEL RUFF BAND), FRED KRON, DANIEL SADOWNICK, RANDY BRECKER, ADA ROVATTI, JAMES CAMPAGNOLA and ZIA involved. Rock and groove is absolutely what you get!
This is their debut CD from 2015. I was about to review it back then, but life happened. Now, right before their 2nd album is out, I though what better than to bring you some info on the first album?
There’s almost no need to mention the awesome quality of the musicians. This really swings and the rhythm section is just so tight. Stylewise it ranges between rather TOWER OF POWER tinged songs to occasionally more jazzy pieces. A fine example of the T.O.P. sounding tunes is “Uber station”.
If there’s one downside of this album, it is this: many of the songs on the first half of the CD sound like jam parties without any certain planning at all. One or two cool song ideas are being tried over a couple of minutes, but there is no sense in it. A lot of it is rhythm based and the members often forget about melodies. The aforementioned “Uber station” is a good example. It’s a cool and groovy idea of a song, but it’s just the same pattern over and over again. There are exceptions, of course, because I am exaggerating a bit. And it gets better on the second half of the album. “Digging in the dirt” is a really nice one. Magic bass pumping, cool horns! And guitars with perfect crunchiness. Some borrowed riffs (deliberately) from for example PETER GABRIEL, too, like a fine hommage to great artists. Anyhow, an excellent song! Sensitive and melodic guitar playing from Bonamassa. Also the following “Don’t funk with me” is magnificent – I can’t for my life understand why they save these gems until the and of the album… And it goes on! “The 6 train to the Bronx” brings vibes of the first MICHAEL LANDAU solo album, so we’re talking smooth fusion. It then gets very jazzy in “Rock candy” (in spite of the title!) underlining the wide range of influences for these guys. As if this wasn’t enough, it really rocks in the finishing “The fabulous tales of two bands” where it can actually be described as hard rock for a while.
It truly has its ups and downs, but for musicians it is probably something that can still be highly appreciated. This debut album can be seen as a warm-up for what’s soon to be released. I have heard the teaser for the new CD and it sounds a LOT better!