THE BAKER BROTHERS: Time To Testify (Record Kicks)

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‘Time To Testify’ is the Baker Brothers’ seventh album and this time around the UK based soul and funk outfit have chosen Italian label Record Kicks to work with. The label may be different but the band’s sound remains essentially the same – big and brassy, feisty and funky and they hammer home the point with the opening ‘Statement Of Intent’ – a short but concise drum, bass and organ item that leads into the frenetic funk of ‘Make Your Move’ (dig the wild sax solo). Discover more of the same on ‘Hang Loose’ and ‘Feeding Freddie’ which comes complete with a chanted vocal. ‘Painting Pictures’ is much looser – leggy even, and when the vocal kicks in you may be reminded of Jamiroquai; more of those flavours on ‘Patience’ too… and while we’re making comparisons you’ll hear shades of the Average White Band in the brass riffs on ‘The Young Patter’ – though as the cut progresses the thing becomes a whole lot wilder than anything the Scottish funkateers ever created.

That wild, unbridled funk sound is the LP’s predominant flavour and at times it a bit wearing and in your face, so when something cooler and more laid back crops up, it comes as a real relief…. and there’s just two of those moments to cherish. The first is the laid back ‘Head South’ and the second is ‘Once I Had A Friend’. ‘Head South’ lacks focus, but ‘Once I Had A Friend’ is delightful. It’s rich and full and boasts a sweet melody and the more restrained and controlled brass work is refreshing. To these ears, it’s the album’s best track and you can investigate @

(BB) 3/5