THE NEW MASTERSOUNDS: Out On The Faultline (One Note Records

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‘Out On The Faultline’ is the eighth studio album from Leeds’ very own funk meisters, The New Mastersounds. Over the years the four piece have built a solid reputation for authenticity. They’ve worked with almost everyone and everybody in the funk firmament and helped launch the career of Corinne Bailey-Rae. Their status is such that there’s a universal demand for their live shows and they’ve graced stages throughout Europe, in Asia (they really are “big in Japan”) and all over the USA and it was in San Francisco that this LP was recorded – explaining the title.

A change of recording venue though hasn’t altered the band’s sound at all. There’s still plenty of that sparse, scratchy, repetitive, Hammond-led funk. The lead–off track, ‘You Mess Me Up,’ defines that sound while ‘Mission Creep’, ‘Make Up Your Mind’ and ‘Way Out West’ offer more of the same. The band are astute enough to know, though, that a full album’s worth of full-frontal funk attack could prove too unrelenting – so for variety they offer other flavours too. ‘Yo Momma’ is a chanted vocal; ‘Ding-a Ling’ is a fast and furious exhortation to dance their new creation, ‘The Ding-A-Ling’ – a dance they’ve devised, it seems, simply because it rhymes with ‘Shing-a-Ling’; ‘Welcome To NOLA’ is a loose and lazy cut with guest Papa Mali extolling the virtues of New Orleans; ‘Summercamp’ is the album’s long, jazz workout; ‘Each To Their Own’ allows guitar man Eddie Roberts to offer homage to Wes Montgomery; while ‘Redwood Jungle’ is the LP’s big, brash, brassy item with the Mastersounds supported by the three-piece Jazz Mafia Horns.

Sonically it’s all very authentic and for those who like even more authenticity, ‘Out On The Faultline’ is also available on vinyl.

(BB) 3/5