Funk Metal

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PRIMUS Frizzle Fry Album Cover Frizzle Fry
PRIMUS
4.20 | 22 ratings
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EXTREME Extreme II: Pornograffitti Album Cover Extreme II: Pornograffitti
EXTREME
4.15 | 26 ratings
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PRIMUS Sailing the Seas of Cheese Album Cover Sailing the Seas of Cheese
PRIMUS
4.09 | 22 ratings
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FAITH NO MORE The Real Thing Album Cover The Real Thing
FAITH NO MORE
3.94 | 67 ratings
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EXTREME III Sides To Every Story Album Cover III Sides To Every Story
EXTREME
4.10 | 12 ratings
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PRIMUS Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People Album Cover Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People
PRIMUS
3.99 | 9 ratings
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LIVING COLOUR Time's Up Album Cover Time's Up
LIVING COLOUR
3.92 | 9 ratings
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PRIMUS Tales From the Punchbowl Album Cover Tales From the Punchbowl
PRIMUS
3.82 | 17 ratings
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PRIMUS The Brown Album Album Cover The Brown Album
PRIMUS
3.71 | 10 ratings
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PRIMUS Pork Soda Album Cover Pork Soda
PRIMUS
3.58 | 19 ratings
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RAINBOW BUTT MONKEYS Letters from Chutney

Album · 1995 · Funk Metal
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aglasshouse
Among the gimmick-ridden 90's, bands and music were usually either hit or miss. You'd have the most unlikable individuals crawling from the woodwork begging for attention, but the problem was they'd be mixed in with the geniuses and pioneers. Therefore, you had to have a name or title that made you stand out from the rest, one that not only characterized you but also gave you individuality. This spread mainly in the uncouth metal scene of the decade, with the rising popularity of shock rock with artists such as Marilyn Manson and Burzum taking the spotlight. You'd have bands like Pissing Razors easily waving around their titles with ease, and one such Ontario-based band constructed themselves in a similar manner, albeit in a manner that doesn't evoke as painful of imagery.

On the surface, embroidered with three women riding goofy, red-and-yellow tractors as the cover, Rainbow Butt Monkeys' 1995 debut Letters from Chutney may seem immature and childish, and granted to a certain extent it is. But what this band brings to the table is a burly and upstanding quality that has been unsuccessfully emulated by a variety of other bands of the same nature. The sophomoric attitude of the songs such as 'As Far as I Can Spit' and 'Circles' are driven by a funk-metal (and I do me out-and-out funk metal) groove that even if it doesn't appeal to your critical senses, you may still get a kick out of it. That doesn't mean however that the metal side of Letters from Chutney isn't pronounced. 'Spiderprints' in particular is a bone-crushingly heavy gallop filled with spitefulness and anger that should appeal to even the most stern.

It should be noted that this band is quite literally the precursor to Finger Eleven, as the lineup of Rainbow Butt Monkeys remained practically static during the time between Letters from Chutney and Tip in '97, aside from RBM drummer Rob Gommerman being replaced by Rich Beddoe. I think because of this, it's safe to say that if you like Finger Eleven, you'll like RBM. On the flipside though I think the inverse is true. Yes, vocalist Scott Anderson sings in a practically identical style as he would go on to do in F11, but the overall atmosphere of the album is heavier, less melodic, and much less sophisticated than their future alternative metal works, which depending on who you are, can be either a pro or a con.

Letters from Chutney has a little bit of something for everyone, and I think this accessible quality makes it stand out from not only Finger Eleven's discography but also from much of the 90's circuit. Take a gander.

BUCKETHEAD Pike 91

Album · 2014 · Funk Metal
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siLLy puPPy
BUCKETHEAD - PIKE 91 - Sublunar 50th album out of 60 in 2014 and 120th overall All sounds brought to you by Buckethead and all instrumental This PIKE was originally released with one only one long untitled track that was 29:14 In 2016 it was rereleased as PIKE 91 - SUBLUNAR and broken down into four tracks with titles

“Peculiarity of Fire” (8:03) begins with a fiery funk bass line and drums. The guitars are clean and subdued and after a healthy chicken walk the guitar finally dominates the scene with a sizzling little solo while the bass takes a backseat but shakes its head and is having none of that stealing the show nonsense as it has a hissy fit and throws the guitar off stage but ultimately the guitar comes back and the two continue to battle it out with each dominating for shorter periods of time. This one is pretty cool in how the bass and guitar play against each other and not WITH each other for most of the track. Nice dynamics and great funk rock style in action

“Dryness of Earth” (9:31) immediately demonstrates why this PIKE was originally considered one long track as it imperceptibly blends in with the first track although it does change things up slightly. The bass line takes a sudden turn into more complex pastures as does the overall song flow but the general take on playfulness between the bass and guitar remains intact, so think of this as “Part II” of the first track. It has periods of simple funk rock and then more sophisticated guitar runs and the bass playing is top notch

“Moisture of Air” (5:48) likewise continues imperceptibly and soon adds some frenetic guitar licks and then turns all proggy on us with angular time sig changes and then back to funk metal! As the funk rock continues to becomes more sophisticated and changes up riffs and increases complexity and then reverts back to simple accessible funky metal but then ratchets up the weirdness again

“Frigidity of Water” (5:49) also continues without missing a beat but it does change the riffs up a bit. The funk metal becomes even more frenetic and angular in its approach. The guitars and bass do all kind of little dances around each other. This is progressive funk 2 da max!

This PIKE is super cool! Progressive funk metal is hardly an overdone concept and as far as i know only BUCKETHEAD has tackled it in his many band participations like Praxis but this one is so well laid out and keeps things interesting throughout the entire run. The playfulness of the guitar and bass are the key points of interest here but it just has a good feel good vibe despite delving into pools of complexity

SUGAR RAY Brownies and Lemonade

Album · 1995 · Funk Metal
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Unitron
I know what everyone's thinking, "Sugar Ray, metal?". While the band is really only known for their hit song "Fly" and the pop-rock albums that followed, Sugar Ray's first two albums display some damn catchy funky nu-metal along with some musical styles you may not expect from a 90's nu-metal band.

What you get here is an eclectic mix of metal, funk, rap, punk, lounge, and even RnB. Songs like "Rhyme Stealer" and "10 Seconds Down" are in a rap metal style, sounding like a metal-ized Beastie Boys. "Big Black Woman" and "Mean Machine" provide the punk end, while "Hold Your Eyes" and the comically titled "Danzig Needs a Hug" are the oddballs being in the lounge/RnB sound.

Due to this eclectic mix, there are some ideas that work and some that don't. "Hold Your Eyes" is surprisingly one of the best songs on the album with an infectiously catchy hand-clapping beat and a bluesy slap bass. Along with the aforementioned track, the previously mentioned rap metal songs are pretty damn great. I'm sure Beastie Boys fans like me will get some enjoyment out of those. "Mean Machine" is a highlight as well, immediately getting you pumped with it's driving opening riff.

However, there are some disappointments here unfortunately. "Drive By" could have been one of the best on the album with it's dark and dirty opening bass line, but is ruined by annoying pointless speech that takes up most of the track. Despite "Hold Your Eyes" being a great track, "Danzig Needs a Hug" has less of the lounge-funk of the former and sounds more like some commercial jingle.

If you're looking for some eclectic funk metal, this is a great album. It's a bit on the inconsistent end, but the great moments easily eclipse the weak moments. Don't let the Limp Bizkit-esque album title scare you away, this is some good stuff. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!

LIVING COLOUR Who Shot Ya

EP · 2016 · Funk Metal
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Unitron
For quite a while now, fans have been eagerly waiting for a new release from funky alternative metal act Living Colour. While Shade, their first studio album since 2009's The Chair in the Doorway, isn't due out until 2017, the band has released a little EP to occupy the patient fans while they wait.

Who Shot Ya consists of two cover tunes and one original track. The title track is a cover of the Biggie Smalls song of the same name, which may come as a surprise. Living Colour gives their own twist on the classic rap track, blending their normal funk rock/metal sound with the hip-hop nature of the original. My favorite on the album is "This Place Hotel", a cover of the Jackson 5 song. Again, Living Colour really makes this song their own mixing the originals already funky beat with heavy rock guitars. Corey Glover's vocals on this track are especially fantastic.

The one original track is "Regrets", which has that trademark heavy and funky Living Colour sound. Technically there are 12 tracks on the EP, but tracks 4-12 are all either remixes or instrumental versions of the three songs on the release. These kind of songs are usually filler, and are no different here.

If you're already a fan itching to hear some new Living Colour, this is a pretty good EP. If you're looking to get into the band, an EP of mostly covers probably wouldn't be the best choice though. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!

FAITH NO MORE Introduce Yourself

Album · 1987 · Funk Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Although INTRODUCE YOURSELF is often considered the first album from FAITH NO MORE, it is in fact the second album after “We Care A Lot”. Since the first album was sorta written off this one was treated as if it were the debut album mostly because of production value. This was the last album with Chuck Mosley as the lead singer before Mike Patton would take the helm and lead the band into not only brief commercial success but also into the realms of avant-garde alternative metal scene. The band pretty much continue their funk metal sound as experienced on the true debut album.

“Faster Disco” starts off setting the pace of the album. It contains the now famous guitar work of Jim Martin with bassist Billy Gould in cahoots with drummer Mike Bordin. The atmospheric contributions of Roddy Bottum add that extra familiar layer to the mix. I still find Mosley’s vocals to be a little monosonatic and personally wish he had a little more range to his box vox. “Anne’s Song’ is a nice little metal funky rocker that sets the mood for the following track order but unfortunately this track basically rips off the bass line and vocal style of the top 10 Billboard funk pop single “Rumors” by the Timex Social Club that hit the charts a year earlier however adds a bit more metal power chord mojo behind it.

The title track is pretty cool as it takes the formula and adds some oomph to make it highly aggressive and addictive at the same time. Short but sweet. “Chinese Arithmatic” continues the sound of the band and hints towards the next album in its atmospheric alternative metal approach that Mike Patton would seize to take into higher realms. “Death March” particularly sticks out as an antecedent to the following album with the song structure and atmospheric approach. “The Crab Song” is a little different with its slow and mellow intro that has Mosley talking before singing but it eventually reaches alternative rock / metal heights with a heavier metal sound and creates a nice funk metal resolution.

I actually like INTRODUCE YOURSELF more than most. True that Mike Patton jumping on board created a more dynamic sound and all however even though Mosley had a limited vocal range he still is a pleasant listen. The musicians backing him are obviously ready for prime time and there are many moments on this album that will point you directly to “The Real Thing.” Although i do prefer the Mike Patton years to the early renditions of FAITH NO MORE, i still find INTRODUCE YOURSELF a very competent listen. This is a very nice listen and deserves more recognition than merely as the beginning stages of the FAITH NO MORE world where Mike Patton steals the show. The only problem i really have with this album is the fact that “We Care A Lot” appears again after the debut album and that “Annie’s Song” pretty much was stolen from the Timex Social Club’s hit single.

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