Review Summary: You know that new guy in Metallica that doesn't do anything on record? This is what he's capable of.
The early 90's was a good era to play bass in alternative rock. Les Claypool, Flea, Tim Commerford, Mike Dirnt and Eric Avery were laying down loud, slick, white-boy-funk basslines over music that was rising to the top of the charts. But one man who is rarely recognized for his playing during the era is Rob Trujillo, current bassist of Metallica and the centerpiece of Infectious Grooves.
Infectious Grooves are:
Mike Muir - Vocals
Dean Pleasants - Guitar
Adam Siegel - Guitar
Rob Trujillo - Bass
Stephen Perkins - Drums
Infectious Grooves were formed as a humorous spin-off of crossover thrashers Suicidal Tendencies, lead by vocalist Mike Muir and bassist Trujillo. Their debut, The Plague That Makes Your Booty Move...It's the Infectious Grooves
, was released in September of 1991. Their sound can be pretty easily inferred by their name--the funk-influenced rhythm section drives this band. Trujillo locks in with Jane's Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins to add an infectious and groovy backbeat to songs that sound much like the band's roots in crossover up front. Trujillo's basslines are by far the highlight of the album, with wrist contorting slaps and pops dominating every song.
Opener "Punk it Up" summarizes the whole record in four minutes. Opening with a catchy slap-and-pop bassline, an almost latin drumbeat and some vocal chants, the song suddenly switches into blistering thrash. Most of the songs on the record switch between these two styles, and they do tend to blend together when listening to the full album. The funk/thrash assault is broken up periodically by skits involving a talking lizard named Sarsippius who tries to get in on the recording. These can be funny, but are ultimately a waste of time.
There isn't much to say about the vocals on here. Muir was never a remarkable singer, but he gets the job done for what the band is trying to accomplish. His delivery can be both aggressive and funny (see "You Lie...and Yo Breath Stank"), but his range is limited. Ozzy Osbourne also contributes to the song "Therapy," but all he does is sing the title in his trademark whine during the chorus.
Guitarists Dean Pleasants and Adam Siegel take a backseat to the rhythm section here, playing relatively simple riffs that are heavy enough, but not in your face. They dive into more blatantly metal sections in "I'm Gonna Be My King" and "Monster Skank," but they aren't here to shred.
Overall, The Plague That Makes Your Booty Move...
holds its own in the era of funk rock, but lacks any stand-out moments. The band does not take itself seriously, so do not look at this as a dramatic piece of art. It's purely fun and groovy, and should be treated that way. Pick this up if you need some more great basslines in your life, but don't expect a life-changing experience.