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K Recs continues their magnificently diverse output with a slice of neo-sludge and retrodelia with this burnt offering by Chain & The Gang . Sparse, hiss-laden soul hooks here adorned by poppy and understated male/female vocals. Opener track “Why Not?” sets up the lazy hand mid-rez vibe, like a less agile jj cale dueling with Stereopathetic Soulmanure era Beck . It’s chill, it’s lazy and it’s fun. The fun segues into “Not Good Enough”, a playful tease that steals wholesale from Pet Sounds . By the middle of the album, the ear begins to tire of the close mic’ed dual vocals, probably more due to the female side of vocals which tend towards an uncertain and pitchy falsetto. The male vocals seems in opposition rather than tandem with the female, an aspect that pulls away from the otherwise pleasant rock n soul slop. The music throughout is a fine bouillabaisse of styles blending in various references in soul, garage, finely dusted with several spoonfuls of sugary pop. By the time the James Brown trib “Living Rough” shows up, I’ve lapsed into acceptance. Good fun, but without enough intrinsic skill yet to take the groove and throw it over the mountain. I’m willing to bet the best is yet to come from Chain & The Gang and this album is a playful step in that direction.
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