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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Fresh Batch
Rodman Session
Sacred Round Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Fresh Batch hails from Philadelphia, where they regularly play out locally at spots like Benny's and the Grind Cafe. The Rodman Session is their debut and has all the elements that have made them such a popular band down in Philly: the tight rhythm section reminiscent of old time soul acts, nasty, raw, low-end bass action from Steve "Slap" Sommers, and the smooth efficiency that only working, practicing acts can acquire. When I saw these guys live, they were backing a hip-hop show and a bunch of MCs and soul singers were sitting in, along with a flute player and a horn section, and amazingly, they were able to swing from tune to tune without really stopping much at all, while people were jumping off and on the stage and the crowd was dancing wild a few feet away. They definitely had that sort of telekinetic improvisational professionalism that allowed them to react on the dime in the moment and make things flow.

This recording was completed on the night of January 20th, 2001 and all the tracks included were laid down live at the Sacred Round studio. Guitarist/singer Mutlu also does the rapping on a number of tracks, which came as a surprise to me since he really didn't sing much at all at the show that I was at. Overall, the album is tight musically, the Stubblefield-esque drumming and fat bass lines standing out, with the guitar subtly holding down the rhythm in the background. Since this was all recorded live in one evening, and mixing and mastering were limited in order to "preserve the integrity of the recording", it sounds a little loose conceptually in spots. It would have been great if they had recorded some tracks with a wider range of instruments, like what I heard at the club when I checked them out live. Regardless, this band delivers a classic funk/soul/jazz sound in the strong Philly tradition.

Reviewed by James Hoey
A long-time contributing writer for LAS, Jim lives in North Carolina and drives an early 70s model mustard yellow Chevrolet Blazer.

See other reviews by James Hoey

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