To get a sense of this sound, picture Manhattan Transfer deciding, just because they’re silly and oh so hip, to tackle glam and early synth covers. Though Crazy Power also dips a bit here and there into some funk and psych, the overall feel is of a hipster showing off. The kooky humor comes across as forced and, after a while, condescending. Birds of prey know they’re cool.
Josh Reichman sure is an able musician, playing most of the instruments here, and does have enough of a grip on many genres to toss ably toss them into the mix. But none of them ring authentic. Reichman sounds like he is renting. God help us, the six-piece live version of this band also features a ballet dancer.
Crazy Power covers a lot of sonic territory and is manic and jittery, and Reichman's talent is wasted. The mix of styles, the willingness to mash up and see what happens, will work well with better material, or maybe with less forced weirdness. This record draws attention to itself for all its smug failures, ignoring its own assets. Exit stage left, to the sound of the Vaudevillians on Family Guy.
Crazy Power is the robust counterpart to Oracle Band's Life Is Legal EP . The self-produced debut was recorded in 2008 at Toronto's Giant Studios in piecemeal fashion. The new disc continues to show Josh Reichmann (of Tangiers fame) dismantling his post-punk bent for a psychedelic stranglehold on early funk and soul records. Recorded with Ian McGettigan, the album's one-sheet says the album references 1970s heavies like "Lennon, Robert Wyatt, Funkadelic, the E-Street Band and T-Rex's outsider glam." That list should give the band's onstage ballerina (ex-National Ballet dancer Laura Bolton) plenty to gambol to on the road. Reichmann was joined in the sessions by Ian McGettigan on bass, James Sayce (Tangiers) on bass, Sebastien Grainger on drums, Steve Singh on keyboards, and Joseph Shabason on sax.
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