Review: Burnt Offering by The Budos Band

Burnt Offering

The Budos Band

Daptone Records

Released on Daptone Records on Oct. 21, Burnt Offering, the new full-length album from The Budos Band, steps a bit away from the dance floor.

It moves toward the ooze of early Black Sabbath. Slithers through the minimalist rhythms of early the West German rock band Can. And swings with freedom similar to Scorpions in their Lonesome Crow fusion phase. While this record is a slight departure from all the Sly Stone and James Brown musical cues, it shines on as a natural progression. As any record collector will tell you, after you sample all the obvious funk Gods, where do you go? To the early metal, that was based in the blues.

As noted in the press release, the title track, “Into The Fog,” was recorded with a Binson Echorec, a classic tape machine used by Pink Floyd/Syd Barrett. With a trumpet solo that references early non-funky, pre-CTI Freddie Hubbard, it sets the tone of the 10-track instrumental record and stands as a warning call to fans of the band. This record will weigh a bit heavier on your brain fuzz-meter than a dance floor playlist.

And that’s OK. The Budos Band have proven with previous releases that they shake asses at shows. Consistently.

The uptempo afro-funk of the tracks “Tomahawk” and “Shattered Wind” checks in with Fela-inspired sax solos. And “The Sticks,” the second song on the record, is squarely centered on an organ-based groove. But it’s the new territory, complete with the boggy psych rock context, that gives this record a different identity.

The beautifully dirge-laden “Aphasia” reinforces the truth that all great guitar solos get better with a foot in your chest rhythm section. This is the early crunch and punch Black Sabbath tribute, but with a sharp horn line replacing Ozzy. The title track, “Burnt Offering,” wields ornate horn charts with psychedelia running amok on the organ keys, and then ends with an epic Keith Moon meets John Bonham drum solo. It is an awesome thing.

“Magus Mountain,” the standout song of the entire album, starts with a light Heart-esque guitar solo,  and then it boils ahead with the perfect balance of spiritual mysticism and rock-funk dominance. This synthesis of organ, bass, and in-the-pocket drum precision paints the perfect setting for the cavalcade horn charts to soar, swirl and explode. Keeping true to the character of the album, the breakdowns excrete with muddy metal and prog-rock essence.

Clocking in at just under 40 minutes, Burnt Offering is the band’s most challenging release to date.