Named so because it was recorded in downtown San Francisco at Faultline Studios, “Out On The Faultline ” is the eighth studio album by The New Mastersounds, and one of their strongest since the band first made their debut in 1999.
Originally from Leeds, England – the band have gone on to considerable success in Europe, Japan and the USA, where their take on American born funk is proving just as strong and popular as ever. With Joe’s Herbie-ish keys, Pete’s solid and nimble bass, Simon’s detailed and solid drumming and Eddie’s well renowned jazz funk guitar, they are showing their considerable experience, really working together effectively and building on their recipe of hard-driving funk with plenty of room for nice solo embellishment.
Every track here is a winner but for me, particular standouts were “Redwood Jungle (featuring the Jazz Mafia Horns)” – a hefty slab of food for the dance floor funk hungry; the guitar-led groove of “Mission Creep”; and furious funk burner “Ding-A-Ling” with satisfyingly raw sax courtesy of Joe Cohen and gang vocals.
There are some pleasant surprises too. “Summercamp” takes influence from house music – which on paper might make your average soul and funk fan balk, until you hear just how good, how dreamy and how groovy this is – and with live instruments too, as the drum program gives way to real drums and the spacey organ drifts on – if only all ‘dance’ music was this good. Papa Mali joins the band as they lament one of their favourite cities on “Welcome To New Orleans” with its warm lyrics delivered in a N’Awlins drawl over a Meters style groove and ‘Louisiana Piana’, it should certainly bring a smile to anyone familiar with NOLA.
With a nice amount of variation, NMS have expanded on their recipe and produced a fine album, amongst their best work – deep, funky, solid and expertly played, “Out On The Faultline” is a consummate album from a world class act.