Words by Mark Sampson
The Canadian Afro-funkers can do no wrong
The hard-hitting sextet from Ottawa struts its stuff again. It may be the band’s first all-vocal album and there may be a few more French Caribbean influences at play, but anyone already familiar with their work can expect more of the same. And there’s nothing wrong with that if, in the process, it puts its immediate predecessors, Solidarity and Inner Fire in the shade.
‘Greet the Dawn’ and ‘Shock and Awe’ open the proceedings with a typical galloping Afrobeat punch; ‘Bull’s Eye’, ‘Kossa Kossa’ and ‘Life is What You Make It’ are rousing chunks of Afro-funk; ‘Courage’ and ‘Soleil Couchant’ add more of a Caribbean flavour; while ‘As the World Turns’ is one of their storming soulful trademarks. But perhaps they leave the best for last this time. ‘It’s Gonna Rain’ sounds like a cut from the golden age of the Stax label – the Dramatics, say – and features a guest appearance by salsero Joe Bataan, the ‘King of Latin soul’. The line-up hasn’t changed since the band’s inception in 2002. It’s hardly surprising that their albums now practically come with a seal of guaranteed quality.