The first thing you should know about The fundaMentals is that they play their own brand of unpretentious rock n’ roll that makes you want to throw down a couple of cold ones and light up a cigar. After listening to the band’s latest EP entitled Full Mental Jacket I had the urge to go see this, or any, band live. Suffice it to say that the band plays music that seems best served live but if you can’t have that then the record is the next best thing. The music lies somewhere between classic rock bands like Steely Dan and contemporary rock acts such as My Morning Jacket.
The band consists of The Icon (guitar, lead vocals), Danger Dan Goodnight (lead guitar), Sir Chas House (bass), Big Hoss (keyboards, vocals) and John “The Hammer” Marnie (drums, vocals). The most striking component is the lead vocals. The Icon has a voice that is the antithesis of the kind you will find winning American Idol. The singer sounds like he is a trucker who has been on the road for the last thirty-five years and has had a steady diet of cigarettes and whiskey.
The band kicks off the EP with “She’s Dangerous,” which revolves around a couple of distorted power chords, a steady drum beat and those oh so recognizable vocals. From the get-go the band utilizes rock 101 techniques and clichés without sounding contrived. The chorus is catchy and it is fun to sing along to it as the vocal harmonies come together and say, “she’s dangerous.”
“I Do It All For Rock ‘n’ Roll” rocks hard and introduces some piano that I wish was a bit more prominent in the mix while “Streets Of Time” shows that The Icon actually has an impressive dynamic vocal range. I couldn't help but be reminded of My Morning Jacket when they rock out on the chorus.
The band is also not without a sense of humor. I couldn't help but laugh when I heard the line “she has the body of a goddess and a voice like Al Pacino.” They close with “It’s About to Get Loud,” which ends the party with a bang. It’s an anthemic song that sounds like the night is just getting started.
The one thing that held back some of the energy was the production. It was by no means awful but some elements sometimes seemed a bit off in the mix. Other than that the album is a lot of fun and embodies rock n’ roll.
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