It’s too bad that Liquid Soul used the title Evolution for their last recording. The band’s new CD, One-Two Punch, is more of an advancement than anything else they’ve done before. You can still expect the same high energy, groove, the fueled horns, multiple styles and compositions, and a lot of in-your-face sounds. However, it’s not quite the same as their four previous releases. “This record is a little bit different,” admits leader Mars Williams. “It’s still Liquid Soul, but I’ve taken it further. I’m doing more in the way of manipulating sounds and styles.” The electronic aspects are kicked up. There is more electric guitar in the forefront. Most tracks on One-Two Punch are restless. The band is not content with one style – rock, hip-hop, electronica, funk, and jazz are all evident everywhere. You’ll also hear psychedelic, atmospheric, metal, and Middle Eastern sounds. From the your-DJ-should-be-playing-this-at-your-club “Attaboy” to the unadulterated rock of “Kong” (featuring a mean Vernon Reid) to the reworking of Albert Ayler’s “Angels,” there isn’t anything that qualifies as ordinary.
The biggest punch comes at the end of the CD. I was listening to it for the first time driving down the highway, windows down, at a considerable speed and had it cranked. The closer is “Kong.” Vernon is wailing on his guitar, the horns are screaming… then this unrelenting track reaches its climax. Wow. I thought my back window was going to shatter. My speakers sighed.
One-Two Punch will be out on Tuesday on the Telarc label. Look for the fun comic-book style jacket.