Formed mid-2009 in Phoenix, Arizona, Jane Joyce and Shane Sittig sound like more then the sum of their parts. Scrupulous has an original style that reflects their versatility and ability to not work inside the box. Their latest album Contraband is a long journey that lasts just under 80 minutes but is well worth the effort. The album goes by surprisingly fast because the song themselves and parts within don’t seem to overstay their welcome. The tracks vary quite a bit from rock grooves to surfer riffs to hip hop hooks to jazz breakdowns to metal licks to emo quells and so on. What is quite impressive is not only the creativity on these tracks but the technical ability as well. For example, the metronome-like yet creative drumming is pretty remarkable. The bass and drums are the focal point of the album and luckily both instruments are utilized to their potential.
The first song “The Blossoming” is an energetic opener that has exceptional drum work, bass guitar and ferocious vocals. As soon that song ends Scrupulous takes things up a notch with the ever-changing “Default on the Mortgage” which is exactly what you think the song is about. Other songs like “Nautilus” are songs that you just have to appreciate because of the complex bass and drum parts. The beginning of this song actually reminded me of Primus. This is an album that really doesn’t lose it pace even after 80 minutes. While I might be inclined to revisit my top four or five songs rather then go on the whole journey, Contraband gives the term drum-n-bass a much needed resurgence.
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