Las Vegas funk/lo-fi outfit Bad Sneakers recently released their new album, Tanooki Suit, a nine-track conceptual collection of innovative songs.
According to Bad Sneakers, “This album is inspired by the tenets of the Satanic Temple, with strong themes around Satan, Anarchy, Vintage Video Games, and Anime.”
Surrounded by a thick haze of anonymity, Bad Sneakers are freedom fighters, adherents of a philosophy known as Soleism, the belief that ‘the journey of life was represented by the path one took, and that one’s sneakers, or soles, were a symbol of that path.’
Tanooki Suit opens with the title track, featuring a funk-lite-flavored rhythm made up of tight percussion and a plump, finessed bassline. Rippling with tinctures of jazz and soft rock, the feel and flow of the tune undulate with dreamy coloration.
Highlights include “Dance Motherfucker,” a funky tune topped by sing-song vocals, elevating to bright timbres on the chorus. The bassline is wonderfully wrought, imbuing the rhythm with a tasty walking flow.
“We Gladly Feast” travels on dark, bluesy, jazz savors as expressive vocals give the lyrics smooth, almost velvety, timbres. A sparkling piano merges into the rhythmic pulse, adding luscious melodic textures.
The Latin-flavored intro to “Live Laugh Lucifer” rolls into a funky rhythm dripping with Salsa-laced textures. Stellar drumming and a superb bassline imbue the tune with a kind of unbridled energy, at once infectious and dynamic.
Akin to a funk-flavored nursery rhyme, “Soleism” approximates something you would hear in the lounge of a Ramada Inn, laid-back, melodic, and yet somehow alluring. While “Ave Satanas,” with its funk-bop beat, projects delicious layers of upbeat, gleaming harmonics as slightly off-kilter vocals imbue the lyrics with kitschy, religious inflections.
“Everyone is Dying” ties the album off, providing heavy, creamy washes of jazz atop a funky rhythm that takes on a hypnotic effect, an effect emphasized by distant, misty vocals.
Marvelously innovative, underscored by amazing basslines, Tanooki Suit delivers avant-garde melodies, as well as captivating sonic surfaces.