@@@ Etuk Ubong: Ekpo Mmommom (Night Dreamer, 2020) I got to this via a tweet from bandcamp via the Twatter. Slotted as jazz on Apple Music, Ubong is a trumpet player and this track, the opener on a record called Africa Today is a thick slab of rhythm and melody driven by an excellent organ sound which is church-y, high in the mix, and pretty unique to African music I’ve heard. The drummer is on fleek, super full of energy and bringing a few arena rock fills in his backpack. Fusion-y bass and big horn lines though thicker and not super brassy in the mix. I stayed for the beginning of the second track African struggle and it is smokin’. Faster tempo, congas pumpin’, space organ this time, and more intricate horn lines. These guys (and maybe gals what do I know) can play!!! Check it out.
@@@ Frank Turner: The Gathering (Polydor, 2022) I got to this via a music publicist email. Classic UK/Irish pub punk that’s been added to with cock rock and big So Cal singalong choruses. Turner is a veteran and he has no trouble working the microphone and keeping up with this bombastic and not so simple pump it up punk. Fairly big guitar solo and a lot of vocal tracks here. It works fine as a technical achievement but does detract a bit from the fuck it and let’s get on with it attitude. After reading Turner’s bio it’s clear he doesn’t hew to any one genre/sound/style as he started in post-hardcore and then went acoustic. So that explains the blend of sounds up in here, he don’t give a fuck which I respect. The song is meant to rouse and I would find it more rousing if it was a bit more stripped down.