GET LOOSE – GET LOOSE (Self released)
What does it mean to play within accepted stylistic boundaries, and is there a difference between working in a tradition and embracing a genre? For everyone who respects improvisations on established carnatic ragas but thinks trad jazz bands are dead-eyed rehashers, there’s another who bigs up old skool hip hop revivals whilst sniggering at morris dancers. The truth is, some musicians get inspired by playing to a previous generation’s rules, and some get inspired by breaking them, and that’s fine; what’s weird is those who do one thing whilst being sure they’re doing the other. Take Get Loose’s press release, which claims their album ranges “from R&B you can dance to through to darker pychedelia”, when what it ranges from is mid-tempo blues rocking to the end of the record.
On the plus side, it’s pretty decent mid-tempo blues rocking. The opening pair of tracks offer chunky-knit “Immigrant Song” style cantering in “Forgive Me” and Chuck Berry flavoured...err...cantering in “Ride It Out”. The riffs and rhythms kick along nicely, the vocals are understated and pleasingly free of pantomime mid-west growls, and the solos are fluent yet concise. The lyrics won’t win any awards, but they’re far from the most egregious examples of priapic platitude in rock’s canon, and may have a little sly inversion of sexual boasting in “King Bee” (if not it means the claim they are “able to buzz all night long” is meant seriously, and that the boys need to learn a little more about apian sexual hierarchies). Best to ignore that stuff and just nod your head to the incessant cowbell crunch of “Bullet”, our favourite track. Get Loose is a very solid, reliable heavy blues album. That is both its victory and its curse, depending on where you’re standing.