Discharge – Bootyjuice
Step Up Productions 078563
There aren’t that many fusion bands out there. Since the genre’s heyday in
the 1970s, with Miles Davis and Weather Report lending the genre a short,
but powerful, burst of credibility, it has all but disappeared. Nowadays,
there are bands borrowing sounds from all across the musical spectrum, many
finding new ways of mixing jazz with rock and funk, but the classic fusion
sound has not found much of an avenue towards rebirth.
On Discharge, Bootyjuice have released an album reminiscent of real,
classic fusion. However, the times have changed and so has the definition
of fusion. Fusion is regarded as the marriage of jazz and rock. Bootyjuice
could be summed up as such, yet they meld together other sounds, as well.
They add hints of reggae, flourishes of soft jazz, and techno beats to their
subtly unique fusion hybrid. Throughout the album, saxophonist Zach
Lucas and the guitarist Mike Gamble, constantly duel together in extremely
fast, composed segments, often creating a taut atmosphere and giving the
album a rather rushed and tense feeling. Whether they’re playing the same
melodic lines together, or taking solos, Gamble and Lucas are at the
forefront of Bootyjuice. The rhythms behind them are indeed quite
contagious, reminiscent of the techno genre. However, it is difficult to
say who borrowed from whom.
Discharge will appeal to
musicians mostly, and perhaps the odd fusion lover. There are hints of more
groove-based, looser music, but only in spurts, and even at those times it
is only a means to get back to the edgy, complex musical weavings that
Bootyjuice knows so well. With a decidedly jittery feel, most of the songs,
surprisingly, manage to move along rather gracefully. This is in part
because this band is incredibly taught, rigid, and unyielding in their
intensity. They possess the ability to deliver this time and time again.
Whether the music itself pleases your subtle tastes or not, you will
undoubtedly come to terms with the fact that they do, indeed, kick ass.
From the frantic opening notes of "Cristal" to the pseudo-reggae of
"Crunch," to the smoother R&B styles of "I Heard it on the Saxophone" and
"Double Dippin’", Bootyjuice seems like they’re covering a lot of ground.
They’re not. They just stay within a genre that is rather expansive and
diverse. The songs drift in mood and style, yes, but all in all they exude a
unifying quality through their force and execution. They stick with what
they know best, something many bands refuse to do, and should be saluted for