[RATING: 5] Time for another dope full-length payload from the Colemine label with the arrival of a brand new LP from The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble – Step Down. The ten-tracker is actually the fourth studio album by the San Diego nine-piece and is every bit as packed full of heavy instrumental soul and retro soundtrack thrills as past outings would make you hope for.
Within the first four tracks, the band showcase skills that allow them to segué effortlessly from the moody 70s Euro crime flick score of the title track, to the chilled soundtrack soul of The Other Side, the booming instro funk of Time To Rebuild and the classic 70s-style jazz-funk of Omnificent. Boardwalk takes things in a rawer almost Meters-ish chicken scratch funk direction on the verses before switching to layered jazz-funky verses while Gandy’s Slower is an itchy little Afro-funky affair. A final quartet of cuts consists of High Times which combines a crowd-friendly drum break with introspective Rhodes keys, Love Age which delivers smouldering cinematic soul, In Common, a second slice of Afrobeat, and closer Thomas The Cat which plays the whole thing out with another slice of cinematic soul. A Step Down by name certainly, but this is anything but by nature.
(Out now on Colemine Records)