Most horn players in a rock/funk band are relegated (no matter how great they are) to a side position, of sorts. The guitarist almost always gets to shine, and the horn players step up for a solo highlight, when the time is deemed appropriate. Boston Horns are rewriting the role of the horn player, by letting their trumpet, sax, trombone, and tuba players lay down the core melodies and carry the weight of pushing the song along. This may not be an arrangement everyone gets into, but I can’t understand why not; this is a band for the rich-sounding horn lover in all of us.
Fear not, if horns aren’t what get you moving, as there’s plenty here to make the string/vocal nut dance right along with the grooves. The horns are not alone in this team; they’re just at the forefront. The lungs on the squad ride over a wave of nasty (the good sort of nasty) rhythm textures (bass/drums) and the fireworks of their guitarist’s and singer’s chops. Celebrated guitarist Melvin Sparks also left his mark as a guest guitarist on a few tracks.
Mostly an instrumental-minded band, this is the sort of album that can become perfect background inspiration, a great in-the-car staple, or a disc to spin when you want the dance floor to come to life. At a party, people are not going to stay in their seats when this is playing; hopefully the person playing this in their car can hold things together!
Having built a catalogue during their years of playing, this album is a mix including 7 new tracks, alongside 2 from an older EP release. This is a great way to introduce yourself to the band, while getting a snapshot of some of their previous material. Throw in the magic of Melvin Sparks’ fingers, and this one is a sure bet.
Rarely does a commercialized industry shake up an equation that has become accepted and standardized. Boston Horns is taking that risk, in a manner that is maturely and successfully approached. If you’re tired of the same old and you need a mix of spices to keep that booty shaking, give these guys a shot. You’ll be aiding in the growth of diverse leaps of faith, and your ears are sure to thank you for the new sounds.
- Jeremy Sanchez