'Starflight United' [Swedish Import]
Release Date: Out Now in Finland and Sweden – TBA for the UK
Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke
Welcome Rockerettes and Rockers to the realms of the Funk! Time to pull on those flared jeans, embroider some cool psychedelic sequined patterns on them; dust down those flowery shirts you haven't seen for decades, and recall those beautiful days of 'Funk O Metal Carpet Ride' and 'Groovus Maximus', as the Swedish super-groovers are back with loaded funky guns ready to shoot from the hip! Did I just type that out loud?! Hmm...
Their fifth studio album retains the hook-laden shout-a-long chorus' we adore, the grooves aplenty and the delicious sugar-rush we get when we spin any of their previous outings. The multi-coloured Funk machine we know as Electric Boys as I type this have unveiled their new album on Swedish and Finnish import only, but there are plans for 'Starflight United' to be released further afield so do not panic!
I know how it is, I was sitting there pondering such quandaries as well until I bribed the bank manager to look the other way and then I pounced! (I let out an evil cackle, but thank goodness you didn't hear that; kinda scary if I'm to be honest).
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The funksters that shamelessly adorn the music on show include Conny Bloom (naturally) on guitar and lead vocals, Andy Christell funkin' up bass and providing backing vocals, guitarist and backing vocalist Franco Santunione and Niclas Sigevall bashing the skins.
There are horny moments too which we love if you're going to confess such things. These are provided by Mats “Magic” Gunnarsson and Magnus Jonsson who play Saxophone and trumpet respectively.
With my new astronaut suit prepared, I leap in to the audio shuttle with ears firmly primed for anything that may constitute less than good quality. Gravity is nowhere to be found as 'Spaced Out' complete with sentiment pleading "...anything to set my spirit free" rounds out a straight ahead chorus. The wiggle is in place as they set their phasers firmly on dance and prance due to the infectious and obvious hooks. "I'm an astronaut and I can't get caught..." Now that is a line you want to sing aloud.
'Desire' carries the electric-fused baton from the opening song as the chorus provides another shout-a-long moment and their pop sensibilities meld in to an arrangement sprinkled with funky goodness. Guitars remain cranked up and giving off static electricity with 'If Only She Was Lonely' as hips sway and the hairs stand to attention on the neck. The production is perhaps a little slicker than on the predecessor 'And Them Boys Done Swang' from 2011, but overall these three funky nuggets do the business as my entire body is shakin' loose mama.
The groove is more than evident on 'Life Is So Electric' which provides my ears with one of several highlights. Jarring and jagged, it really helps the party along. "Gimme what you got there, I want it" sums up how I feel, although on reflection I would confess that I'm gettin' it.
I'm talkin' in general terms about what makes me happy. 'Tramp' is another blast of full-on hook-laden Funk Rock which sends the listener in to the next track 'Ain't No Gettin' Over You'. They grace ballad territory by finding a moment to exhibit some Beatles-esque influences. This isn't the first time they've done it either if you're familiar with their back catalogue.
An instant highlight for my ears as they party hard throughout this audio circus of funk arrives in the sparkling 'Junk In The Trunk'. It blows my mind with the touches of brass, the swagger and the blunt chorus which stomps all over my soul. 'Gangin' Up', 'Lucy Fur' and 'BASF' bring the cocktails and the sex which drips from every syllable that Bloom exhales.
Prepare for some "na na nas" in the latter of these three funky fireballs and an injection of real urgency with the former. The title track starts out with something that resembles a sonic slide guitar before bouncing on clouds of magic dust. Beyond being a title track, it doesn't elevate itself above or beyond any of the other tracks.
Anyone who knows the Electric Boys will know they have a tendency to jam and extend their creative spontaneous muscles. (Check the 'Groovus Maximus' sessions for proof). Final track '59 High Mountain St.' reminds us that this is true by taking the listener to the edge of their cosmos with an instrumental exercising some jamming tapestries. Being honest with you, it doesn't shatter my universe with a gooey funky mess of texture and shade like I hoped, but it may be a grower over time.
If you're awaiting confirmation of a UK release date, I hope this review keeps you on the edge of your seat as this album is another strong example if one was needed, why Conny Bloom and his gang are still Funkmeisters supreme; and why he remains a consistently well respected Rocker due to such a strong back catalogue of music.
Whether it is his solo album 'Psychonaut', his work with Hanoi Rocks in their latter days, or whether it be the Electric Boys canon of work, you know you're going to get the best that he has at the time and that he's honest to a fault. Life is so electric I've heard on the grapevine, and with an album this groovilicious, it's not hard to see why.
Check this album out if you're searching for an antidote to the blues or the grey clouds, this'll put a party in your pants!
If Only She Was Lonely
Life Is So Electric
Ain't No Gettin' Over You
Junk In The Trunk
59 High Mountain St.