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Silver Lash Lounge – Buttah

Someone reading this review whom might be searching for a dissertation topic
should consider analyzing the reason for the assorted food related band
names. A list would conspicuously include every major jamband existing
today; yet the relevance often pontificated by fans typically seems juvenile
and merely petrifies the band further into a cesspool of an
as-of-yet-unnamed-dummkopf organization.
The only relevance of the opening digression, which could have easily begun
with a Saturday Night Live sketch about Barbara Streisand, concerns the band
name Buttah, which apparently refers to the intended funk/jazz/dance nature
of their music. Taking some liberty with the spelling of Buttah, Webster’s
New Collegiate Dictionary defines "butter"(assuming the band desires this
connotation and not some Latinate of "butt" or "tah," ad nosium.) as a
"solid emulsion of fat globules, air, and water made by churning milk or
cream and used as food".
While the definition probably slows the progression of the knife to your
morning toast, the connection has little bearing upon Buttah’s music on
"Silver Lash Lounge," unless one digresses into the filthy issues concerning
fat globules as they correlate to liposuctions and plastic surgery. The
music on "Silver Lash Lounge," could be considered fatty,
smooth-soft-yellowish whey — like, in fact, the left-over stations at the
end of the dial which continue to haunt you while walking through an
air-conditioned mall.
Swirling in a psychedelic jazz haze, the second track on "Silver Lash
Lounge" titled Archive features a beautiful woosh synth effect which
will make some retirement home executive change his/her diaper. Several
smooth jazz guitar fills, which Kenny G would admire, augment the
enlightening swirling effect. While the goal of Archive might have
been an atmospheric piece where elements of hip-hop and jazz, ala DJ Cam,
meld to create a tone poem, far too much moves within the minimal piece. The
master of minimalism and silence, Bill Frissell, creates mood by slowly
building drama, rather than creating a lengthy synth loop and some
unnecessary guitar phrasings.
Not all of Buttah’s music can be so openly criticized, as Sveik’s First
Party, despite the derivative funk nature, does expose some musical
potential. Thomas Eaton adds jagged guitar lines to the hip-hop/funk bottom,
as Kevin Bouley then plays a surprising saxophone solo somewhat outside of
the music’s boundaries. Suddenly, the fascinatingly intricate playing
becomes eradicated the moment as a horrendous Joe Zawinul-influenced
keyboard enters. Following the Zawinul inspired keyboard bliss, the song
then becomes carnival music, filled with a multitude of circus/carnival
synthesizer effects, resulting in a glabrous stepchild to Mr. Bungle’s
esoteric compositions.
To its credit, the band does jam well in their attempt to traverse through
the domains of The New Deal and Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe. For example,
Themes from the Lounge moves from disco to a deep dance groove, which
sounds like a DJ spinning Wayne Shorter and Weather Report with a
drum-n-bass beat. The track explores all of the band’s previous sounds, but
does so in an interesting, jazz/hip-hop manner. Never does the music deviate
enter the already described smooth jazz fluff, but instead blasts forth into
the musical universe of driving rave rhythms.
Summarizing "Silver Lash Lounge" becomes a task in ineffability. The band
has more talent then hundreds of bands in the jazz/jam/funk scene, yet the
compositions and songs do not clearly expose their talents. The future
should treat Buttah better, if they accentuate their talents, eliminate some
of the useless synth-fills, and concentrate on not creating "trippy" effects
but rather decent songs which clearly accentuate their respective
instrumental abilities. Possibly, by fortifying the jungle and break-beat
elements, the band’s songs might have more intensity and not contain such a
littered, 80s fusion feel.

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