Big Blue Ox
Big Blue Ox = Tauk + Lettuce
It’s not often that I get to hear a funk album that is as fresh and groovy as Big Blue Ox’s debut EP. Hell, it’s not often I get to listen to any good funk albums that have come out in the past few years, and this album has filled that growing void with style and passion. Big Blue Ox use a solo-centric style, which is the cornerstone of any good funk album, and keep things distinctive with a superb sonic range. Blazing bass lines, fun synth sounds and a slew of laidback percussion grooves make Big Blue Ox an album that I can wholeheartedly recommend to all you funk lovers.
If wealth is measured by how fat and how deep you could groove (and when it comes to music, it probably should be), then Big Blue Ox are raking it in. A fiery, funky horn section takes the spotlight on this album, but bursts of organ, synthesizer and a full percussion crew keep the pocket so wide that almost anything would sound good over this mix. “Siamese Mud” is the flashiest intro I’ve heard this year, and it consistently sucks my body into the groove with its rich bass lines and a screaming synth solo.
I’ll be honest—I’m a little upset that this EP only boasts three tracks because the 20-minute experience is over far too fast. With a seven-minute average song length, Big Blue Ox are able to fully explore each of their ideas, and every one of them is fire. It takes more than just good ideas to make an album though, which is why I’m so glad that the band also has the musicianship necessary to bring it all together into a rock-solid release. The album flows from section to section and song to song so smoothly that I’m always caught off-guard when the solos stop and I’m left bouncing my head to the silence that ensues when the album climaxes and concludes.
There isn’t a dry moment to be had on this EP, and I’m left begging for more from this band. If you’re not convinced yet, I recommend you check out the entire release at bigblueox.bandcamp.com and hear the funky mayhem for yourself. And of course, watch your local venues for this soon-to-be funk legend! –Alex Blackburn