Spread Like Fire
Funk&Gonzo = Pepper + Sum 41 + Ocean Floor Traffic
Chyeah, brahhhhhh … ahem … Sorry, this reggae is twisting my brain up. Funk&Gonzo are a reggae, funk and alt-rock mash-up that had me checking the computer after every song to make sure it hadn’t shuffled to a different artist. When I heard the Bradley Nowell–esque rap vocals, I was reassured again that nothing had changed. The musicianship exhibited on Spread Like Fire is impressive. Four live tracks, featured at the end of the album, all sound clean enough to have been recorded in an acoustically engineered studio (try “Olly Olly”—“Funk-Da-Puss” is a bit ridiculous). Some songs, like the title track, morph into imitation metal breakdowns. I was dissatisfied with the vocals, which I’ve concluded are an attempt to fit a ska style. Reggae reminds me of unity. Alternative rock, reminiscent of 30 Seconds to Mars, makes me think of whiny teenagers and excess eyeliner. In the end, a lack of focus detracts from the upbeat mindset driving their music.