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Non-Prog CD Reviews

The Quick & Easy Boys

Make It Easy

Review by Larry Toering

This is a hot funk and R&B band from the Northwest. However, they are not your average funk band, as they blend alternative vibes with it that simply rock, as well as some reggae and ska inflections. They're influenced by everyone from War to No Doubt, yet they have this sense of originality that make them unique. These categories can get so contrived  that it makes it hard sometimes to nail the genre in question without adding the description of other flavors are found in the music. That being said, they do rock on this release. This is different than their first one, but just as good. They do consider themselves a funk band, and I can see why, because they jam hard on that groove on this, their sophomore release. Check into this band as they hit the US tour trail, you won't be sorry. In fact you will probably dance your shoes off. This is a band that is hard not to fall in love with, and they deliver a consistent follow up to their also excellent debut.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Hey Hey Hey
This is of the usual standard for which these guys are known. That is not to say it's typical really, but of their usual speed and approach. They chant the lyrics to a guitar driven backing track. It's as lovable as any track of theirs I've heard. There is just something that is so easy to get off on with this band, and this does the business as usual, that's all. It’s a killer opener!
Without You
An almost Keith Richards style riff is displayed here, with a falsetto vocal. Combined it’s very reminiscent of stuff the Rollling Stones were doing in the late 70s. Not only is there a nod to Richards, but one to Mick Jagger as well. This is not to be regularly expected from these guys, as they usually tend to lean harder on funk than rock. I can take this or leave it in favor of more hard core funk, but it does have an accessible ring to it.
Dog on Its Reign
This is more like it, but still there is a rock vibe dominating it. Still, I really like it in this case because the influence is much harder to nail. However, they still take a page from the Stones here in the lyrics. That influence certainly wasn't as felt on their debut disc, but it's nice to know they have enough rock roots to blend with a more dance oriented groove. I like this tune. Tt really has a light hearted approach for them, which I welcome.
Learn To Love the Sunshine
The rock vibe is yet again written all over this, and it snaps hard with the funk factor. There are great vocals going on here, in what results in a little more 80s romantic style. There is no going back at this point, as they come on strong in blending the elements combined.
Trace Kinkaid
This is by far the most complex and disjointed in styles on offer, as they almost hit the rap zone. But by the time you hear this, you know these guys love Fishbone. That is the closest influence to be found on most of these tracks. The humor and fun loving vibes go through the roof on this.
Make It Easy
Slowing down for the title track is not a bad idea, just not something I was expecting. It completely neutralizes the overall direction, leaving wonder about what's to come. This is a very clever approach to the set indeed, and a lovely little fluffy number by the time it’s over. This is most unsuspecting for a tile track, but it has a lot of beauty and charm to round it out.
Let Me Get Down
This has many factors going for it, as they rock harder, and funk harder than on the rest, so far. This is very reminiscent of some of the more exposed material on their first release. It has all the zany comical hooks to be found in this band’s catalog thus far. It’s very quick and to the point, with a lot of character and sass.
Toothpaste
This is a slower moving number with a mid tempo groove throughout. It's actually quite pleasant at this point. The comical factor is harder to sense because of the pace, but make no mistake, it's there.
Slack Mountain
This is where they get pretty ska, and the whole disc could use more of this. It's there somewhere in all the tracks, just more prominent on this. There is some hot guitar playing here too, but I like the ska factor the most. Still, this is one of the best tracks on offer, and one of their most enjoyable to date, in my opinion. I love the vocals on this, too.
A Little Hell
On the closing number, they go into a bit of Led Zeppelin for influence, but it sounds almost like a certain Morgan Geer is on lead vocals. Still, that’s not indicated anywhere in the credits.  If it isn't the singers voice I hear, then it's a dead ringer for him. Either way, this is yet another of the album’s peak tracks, indeed.

 

 

 

 
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