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THE SLINGSHOTS: Is This Soul? (2014)

Is This Soul  The SlingshotsIs This Soul? ask Barcelona’s The Slingshots with their new LP. Well, let’s put it this way – if it ain’t, it’ll do until soul gets here, offering, as it does, ten raw cuts of a very funky persuasion in what amounts to a confident ‘David’-style riposte on Rocafort Records to the global funk-soul revivalist ‘Goliath’ that is New York’s Daptone Records.

The opener and title track, offers a sense of what is to come with its squelchy keys, tight horns and the growl of singer Roger ‘Fullosoul’ (possibly not his real name) while That Just Ain’t Right is an uptempo Move On Up-ish follow-up with the Mayfield falsetto replaced with something a little more gritty from our Roger. Listen carefully and you’ll note that, as with fellow soulful Euros Don Cavalli and Marta Ren, there are occasional moments when intonation betrays a non-American singer but, as with those others, the lung power and sheer – well – soul in evidence, the listener is inclined to be very forgiving. Feel The Shots completes the opening trio by starting up with a sax riff that begs to be sampled before settling into a chugging JBs-like groove. There’s no lack of retro variety on here either. Back For Nothing is a smoother jazzy instrumental, For Somebody Else offers mid-60s rnb-ish excitement, there’s hectic wah-wah fuelled blaxploitation thrills on Little Big Man and even hectic latin-flavoured wah-wah fuelled blaxploitation thrills on Chasing Paquito. One of the album’s biggest strengths though is the quality of the songwriting – best exemplified by the stomping She Ain’t Got No Soul, fiery closer Dog Hair and squelchy chugging funk bump The Boss. The Slingshots then – definitely worth shot…
(Out now (including on wax) on Rocafort Records)

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