Recent Fort Collins via Iowa City transplants Euforquestra have done everything an ambitious yet humble band needs to do right, for the better half of this decade. Expanding their sound and fan base (and, presumably, their minds) by going west, the seven-piece has added flourishes of dub, a logical conclusion after dalliances in Afrobeat, salsa, samba, and funk. Soup, the band’s third full length, is slick and smooth Saturday night party jams laden with lyrics reflective of the Midwestern dreadie zeitgeist.
The record storms in with “Cause A Reaction,” everything pushed to eleven before settling into a hypnotic groove that doesn’t let up until the reprise “Cause a Dub,” expertly produced by the band’s alto saxophonist Ryan Jeter. The African-tinged interplay between guitarist Mike Tallman and the dual percussionists on the title track’s warped middle section shows a lot of promise. “The Events of December 11” features a hook that compels the listener to Google the 2007 ice storm that left the boys powerless and scared. The lyrics obliquely evoke images of the more infamous -ember 11th, whether the intent was witty irreverence or frustration, one recalls George W. Bush using a similar phrase as the sole reason for the unprovoked invasion of a Iraq.
The band is most at home on the instrumentals, as their vocal harmonies can’t possibly keep up with their hands. Fortunately, the non-Western influences shine enough to ensure repeated listens. The lyric-heavy tracks, long the bane of bands with Euforquestra’s caliber chops, never weigh the band down. At nearly 63 minutes, the record is never short on ideas. With new surroundings, they should have no trouble concocting another Soup, which is good news for anyone craving a second bowl.
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