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BIG BOSS MAN: Bossin’ Around

Incredibly it’s been ten years since funky-Latin-mod-fuzz heroes Big Boss Man last released a Studio LP – 2014’s Last Man On Earth. And aside from a couple of singles released from that album at around the same time, there have only been four 45s in the interim to tide fans over – all from the last two years. The most recent two of these however, last July’s Do The Backstroke and February’s Das Freak found the band on a new label – Spinout Nuggets – (rather than Blow Up as previously) suggesting that at least some of the reason for the long gap between LPs was down to label issues. But never mind about all that because BBM are back and in fine fettle with Bossin’ Around!

Of the singles from the last two years, only the most recent Spinout Nuggets one – the aptly named Das Freak appears on this album – though if you thought that was indicative of a wild new Latin-jazz-disco direction from the band, rest assured the rest of this LP is vintage BBM – though, as always, not without variety. Arguably Bossin’ Around is the band’s funkiest since 2005’s Winner a case in point being opener Señor Claypole which opens with a sample of a vintage clock (as if nodding to how long it’s taken the band to produce a fifth studio LP), segues into squalling guitar and then gives way to an energetic drum break and organ groove. There’s also funkiness to be found in the Moog-drenched fuzz of Rambling Reg and especially in the album’s funkiest dancefloor nugget, the Latin-influenced funk of (Can Your) Brother Boogaloo. Cuban Heels comes hot on the – er – heels of the latter with a soul-jazzy Latin mover and further Latin thrills are to be gained from the uptempo bossa rhythms of The Real Bobby Dazzler. Elsewhere there’s Eastern-influenced psychedelia on Hapless Jack’s TTB, later-era Small Faces-style action on the LP’s only proper vocal track The Colonel, mod-fuzz stompers (The Scoop and the gloriously upbeat Scotch Of St James) and bluesy R&B on Back In The Slacks. There’s also one final triumphant surprise in the form of closer 0069 which harks back to the earliest days of band members Nasser Bouzida and Trevor Harding’s side project Prince Fatty (before that got hijacked) with an early reggae riddim nodding to Dollar In The Teeth-era Upsetters material. How’s that for bossin’ around?
(Out now on Spinout Nuggets)

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