Detroit-based soul-funk outfit Disaster Relief recently released their second album, Back Into It, a collection of songs rife with old school funk, wah-wah guitars, and dazzling brass.
Made up of Brennan Andes (bass), Rob Avsharian (drums), Dan Bennett (alto and baritone sax), Josef Deas (organ, electric piano, Moog synth), Tim Haldeman (tenor sax), Ross Huff (trumpet), Darrin James (guitar, organ), and Randall Moore (percussion), Disaster Relief formed in 2018, when guitarist Darrin James decided to get away from the blues-rock of the Darrin James Band. His goal was to put together a funk-heavy band.
The band released their self-titled album in 2018, acquiring vast acclaim from music journalists. On Back Into It, Disaster Relief augments its sound with world music, Afro-Caribbean flavors, and psychedelic surf rock tangs. In addition, Disaster Relief collaborated with Thornetta Davis on a two-track single, full of soul, blues, and funk.
Embracing six tracks, highlights on Back Into It include the title track opening on sleazy funk smacks, oozing deliciously braying horns. A fat, popping bassline and crunching drums drive the rhythm, giving the tune a luscious rolling undulation. A cool, tasty sax solo imbues the harmonics with plush, sizzling essence.
“Kalamatianós for Alexander” blends hints of surf rock with creamy Greek traditional dance music, providing seductive, ebullient layers of sound. A personal favorite, “Beach Song” fuses tropical aromas of reggae with funk-lite. Bright horns infuse the tune with glowing coloration as a glittering, skiffing guitar delivers luminous accents.
“Ostinato Eleven” rolls out on a heavy, vibrating bassline topped by surges of delicious horns, lighting up the harmonics with sensuous relishes. There’s an improvisational feel to this track, giving it scrummy textures of unprocessed bouquets.
The final track, “What Day Is It?,” travels on mid-tempo rhythm as radiant, blues-flavored soul filaments infuse the tune with lysergic regalia.
With Back Into it, Disaster Relief delivers sprawling, juicy soundscapes of soul and jazz, reflecting superior musicianship and bewitching arrangements.