The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
OSAKA PUNCH - VOODOO LOVE MACHINE -Review-2016

OSAKA PUNCH - VOODOO LOVE MACHINE -Review

SELF-RELEASED | Release Date: May 30th 2016




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There’s a Hendrixy guitar opening to the faux Soul of opener ‘Theme to Voodoo Love Machine’s’ brief tenure as an introduction that doesn’t exactly endear a Rock listener to Osaka Punch immediately, and despite the soul stylings of ‘Eat Red Carpet’ it’s clear that this band may be a bit may be a bit too much for your average ‘meat and potatoes’ rock fan especially with the rapped verses and despite the hard guitars. It’s maybe not a million miles away from early Chilli Peppers but with the vocal far too high in the mix to be as enticingly crossover as that band particular managed to capture.


So here it is: Osaka Punch a soul, rap, jazz crossover with a penchant for hard guitars and a big sound. If you have an open mind then that may just be enough but key-heavy as they are, only part of Osaka Punch’s soul rocks with abandon. ‘Actibreeze’ is simply progressive pop with an edge. I guess one thing you can say is that they put it all in the mix, even coming across rather like ‘The Tubes’ with the voice-over mid-song. Indeed it’s perhaps a modern day ‘The Tubes’ that the band most reminds us of: suitably anarchic and impossible to exactly out a finger on.


Whereas the Tubes always rocked though, Osaka Punch is far more soul and jazz than ‘White Punks on Dope’ and while the ditty ‘Funky Brother’ may sound just like the title suggests it does have some pleasingly avant-garde and tongue-in-cheek moments. The seven minute plus ‘Sex Panther’ kicks the explorer further into the jungle with a Spanish language intro, swirling keys and an exploratory introduction. It’s rather a mood piece that at three minutes in appears to be going nowhere but the jazz jungle until it’s pulled from the darkness by some funky guitar which feeds the weary traveler until a haunting passage that could be the rising sun or severe dehydration before the funk kicks bac in. Depending on your point of view it’s either just too much or rather eye-opening.


The rest of the album is just as enticingly disparate with the speed metal and double kick drums of ‘Battleworm (Escapes from the Doom)’ melding Megadeth with hot free funk and a lilting eastern-tinged backing wail to go with the ‘Sex Gang Children’ vocal! It’s the ‘rockingest’ track here and rather damned good.  As juxtapositions go ‘Dancetown Showdown’ is enough to send many running for the hills with its opening free jazz vocal sounds that give way to funk vocals then in turn Prog rock wailings!  Of course it eventually transmogrifies into a Zappa-esque frenzy of Art Rock and barroom intrigue. If you were still unsure (or suitably unhinged) on any level ‘Muted Woot’ confirms the deep, rich insanity of the players with its jaunty opening and sweet swirling vocals before an inexplicably rock guitar breaks out over plonking keys.


Closing out the piece of art (it’s hard to refer to this as an album) ‘Electric Jam On Boogie’ manages in just under six minutes to underline the rock components and just to add to the mix closer ‘Livin’ the Dream’ manages some dirty and classic rock vocals mixed in a heavy funky wash. There is something in the water in Brisbane. Do not drink it, let it in through the ears instead…   

 

 

by Leslii Phillips

 

 


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