The Budos Band is one of my favorite recording bands and live they’re especially crazy fun. They tour only on a limited basis so I’ve been fortunate enough to catch them a handful of times and each time it’s a party. The band and crowd feed off each other and the set gets increasingly more wild right up to the end.
The band started on the Daptone label and originally fell pretty squarely in the afrobeat category but even early on they had a dark, edgy sound as reflected in their first three album covers of a volcano, scorpion and cobra. The get deeper and darker with the Burnt Offering album never looking back. Now, they’re in a class of their own with what call funk metal and they reference proto-metal, with screeching horns and deep motifs.
It’s always great to get new tunage from them and the year’s EO offering Frontier’s Edge is a winner. It’s their first on their new label Diamond West Records founded by the band’s leaders Jared Tankel and Thomas Brenneck. Here’s my track by track rundown.
Track By Track
Frontier’s Edge, the title track, kicks off with a traditional Budos warped intro followed by Brenneck’s distinctive hollow, Western-toned guitar licks. And the horns take flight with some badass clarion calls. The theme of danger comes through forthwith and and back and forth from the horns to the rhythm section crests right before the fade.
Devil Doesn’t Dance but it does have a sumptuous horn line with some extra spooky organ work from Mike Deller. The horns scream and the organ swirls as a tempest. As usual the rhtyhm section of Profilio, Fodor, Brenneck and Lombardo is propulsive in this power jam…with a signature Budos warped fade out.
KRITN sounds like a UFO at the start but the horns surge in quickly. Mike Deller takes off on the organ before Jared Tankel powers on with the bari. The horn line five-note pulse is a fiery theme until the faux ending with the song closing with more UFO-style effects.
Crescent Blade has a church-like organ open with Brenneck and Fodor laying down a tight A-section. The rhythm section drives the song with the horns flying air cover. Crescent Blade features a Jared Tankel bari solo which is always a highlight especially as hits altissimo heights. This could be the mose fulsome tune on the EP.
Passage to Ashinol has great guitar to horn section volleys up front and then settles into a mystical journey theme, a typical feature of the band. The horn line is runs hard with Deller’s echoing keyboard a heady companion.
Curled Steel is perhaps the most psychedelia funk song with a bending note line playing opposite the horn. It alternately sounds like a slide guitar, sitar or string section – in any case it’s distinctive in this song .