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THE GRITS: Make A Sound (album) (2014)

Make A Sound The Grits[RATING: 5] Brighton’s The Grits sally forth for the autumn with their second full-length effort and Make A Sound indeed, though there are significant developments in their – er – sound from the band’s self-titled debut. Vocalist Sophie Adler-McKean has joined the group for starters and appears on more than half the tracks but while she might exhort the listener to, “make a sound, doesn’t matter what sound it as, as long as it sounds like James Brown,” on the title track, the band have developed a highly distinctive take on the funk. In a rare moment of PR accuracy, the blah that accompanies the release likens it to the, ‘love child of the JBs and Delia Derbyshire.’ I say accuracy, it’s more southern funk than the JBs but the Delia bit is spot on. Delia who? You know – the one that electronically realised the original sixties Doctor Who theme! In other words, Make A Sound bridges the divide between dirty funk breaks and early keyboard-based psychedelia, with Adler-McKean’s Soho mod-beat vocals thrown in for good measure. And even that’s not the complete the story.

Much of the LP is saturated in spring reverb which not only adds to the electronic, psychedelic feel but occasionally lends an early 80s punk-ish feel to Adler McKean’s very English vocals as on Let Me Know during the breakdown. Squelchy reptilian instro (and anthem to one of the most evil alcoholic drinks known to man), Black Sambuca, is laced with sitar funk, Psycho is a tripped-out, fuzzed-up Sonics cover, Skin & Bone is a slab of heavy funk riffage with a tinge of afro-funk flavour and uptempo syncopated bump cut Just A Little Bit contains a vocal vs. synth bass breakdown that briefly threatens to go all electro. Rest assured though – this is a righteously funky LP and despite all the FX, beneath it all, the guitar and breaks are resolutely ‘N’awlins.’ Throw in stank bump (and flip to former single Strychnine), (I’d Walk A) Funky Mile, swampy groove, Heel & Toe and the psych-blues-funk lament of Six Pack and it’s right up their with the best funk LPs of the year.
(Out now on BBE Records. Super ltd. vinyl to follow early in 2015)

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