The Fontanelles – Horns Of Freedom (First Word)
Afrobeat fusion band, The Fontanelles unleash their debut album.
Ever wondered what a PigBag/James Brown/Los Chinches supergroup would sound like? No, me neither, but if you ever do find yourself awake at night pondering the thought, then give The Fontanelles a listen and your curiosity will be quenched.
Formed to be the backing band for Fela! The Musical when it was on its London stint, the ten-piece decided that their relationship and natural chemistry demanded that they stay together and carry on performing – thankfully.
The Fontanelles have certainly created a great sound, mixing ska, jazz and reggae with an afrobeat base. The energy is high and the musicianship is superb.
Album opener, Gaia’s Revenge, blasts the album straight into view with its clear jazz influences, and the horns which are obviously prevalent on the album are powerful and precise. Afrocat has dub touches and again keeps up the pace as the title is announced throughout.
Recent single, Criminality, brings in American funk influences and again the horn sound and instrumentation is frenetic. To see The Fontanelles live must be an experience to behold.
The tempo slows down for The Wave and Project 31 to a sleepy groove before being picked up again for the title track which closes the album.
It’s nice to hear a non-vocal album that doesn’t get boring at some point, in fact ‘Horns Of Freedom’ is quite the opposite as it remains interesting the engaging to the end. If there’s a downside, then it’s that there are only eight tracks here, but given the quality on show it’s an inconsequential fact that’s quite easily overlooked.
Published on Louder Than War 21/11/13 - here