The New Mastersounds
Out On The Faultline


3.5
great

Review

by Hernan M. Campbell STAFF
November 5th, 2012 | 40 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A blast from the past. 'Out On The Faultline' is an exceptional homage to old school Jazz-funk that is both adventurous and accesible.

Out On The Faultline is not just an album, it's also a time machine. It goes backwards and forwards, connecting us with many different eras in music history. It's our window into the past, one that allows us to familiarize ourselves with the trends and styles of a changing America. Despite being a British group, The New Mastersounds garner their inspiration from various American musicians and genres that reflect the evolution of music. From the early New Orleans Jazz scene to the exuberant Funk movement of the 1970's, Out On The Faultline is an eccentric collage of vintage sounds and melodies.

The album opens with "You Mess Me Up", and immediately we can see the direction that this album is heading towards. The only agenda that The New Mastersounds are deploying here is to induce a musical environment that is both engaging and jubilant. And quite frankly, they succeed with flying colors. "You Mess Me Up" erupts with a very prominent guitar riff that just demands the listener to dance along its ecstatic melody. The aesthetic of the guitar work is actually much more reminiscent of modern Funk rock acts, particularly that of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, in the way that it follows a repetitive course that serves to augment the groove of the music. In its midsection, we find the music arriving into a jam break where keyboardist Joe Tatton begins to wail on the organ and exudes some very rapturous notes. "Mission Creep" displays a much more vintage Funk sound. Again, the song is all about the guitar work of Eddie Roberts whose maneuvering is as dextrous as it is captivating. His style has a very James Brown feel to it here, bringing a strong rhythmic groove to the melodic theme, but he also ventures into his own idiosyncrasies in the solo passages. One of the major highlights of the album is "Yo Mamma", and the influence of old school Funk is at its most conspicuous here. Everything about this song just exudes Parliament & Funkadelic, from the provocative vocal harmonies to the irresistibly alluring hooks, making this the most convivial piece from the album.

The Jazz influences are not as evident until the latter portion of Out On The Faultline, but we really get to see The New Mastersounds exploring the many different dimensions of the genre. "Welcome To Nola" starts us off in the earliest chapter in Jazz music, the place where it all started, New Orleans. The music is driven by a lively piano arrangement embellished in an eccentric rhythmic stride, and a stereotypical southern vocal rant that, despite not having any actual lyrical depth, does compliment the New Orleans Jazz vibe very well. "Summercamp" fast-forwards us into the 1970's Jazz Fusion scene, it's an extended jam song that incorporates the various characteristics of the style. Unlike most Jazz Fusion songs, this piece is very mellow. It's certainly invigorating, but in a more subtle tone. The atmosphere of the song is almost psychedelic in its own way, as Joe Tatton coalesces his keyboard arrangements with some ethereal synthesizer dissonance. The music is exquisitely mellifluous, with each musician taking turns to engage in their own solo performances. "Summercamp" is perhaps the apex of this section because it's just so entrancing and alluring that one cannot help but be succumbed by its radiant melody. "Redwood Jungle" is another Jazz highlight, and one of the few to feature wind instruments. The brass section really takes the spotlight on this piece, erupting with passionate and enthralling harmonies that add some much needed excitement to the Jazz portion of the album.

Out On The Faultline is a very entertaining album, with a lot of euphonic appeal that can attract a variety of listeners. The only drawback is that The New Mastersounds don't put enough of "themselves" into the music. The album is really more of a reflection of their influences rather than a canvas that embodies their own ideas. Now, there's nothing wrong with proudly wearing your inspirations on your sleeve, as long as they remain your inspirations and not your identity. Though there are moments in the album where the group really comes into their own. The final section of the album exhibits a much heavier sound, expressing the aggressive and dynamic nature of rock music, while still retaining a funky demeanor. "Each To Their Own" is the most distinguished piece in this latter portion, and also the mellowest. But it's within this song that we see The New Mastersounds combining all of their influences into one utterly intoxicating brew of sounds. It's one of the lengthier tracks and like "Summercamp", it shows off the band's improvisatory excursions. Overall, this is a very fun album. It's adventurous, while also emphasizing on being as accessible as possible. And though it may give fans of George Clinton and Return To Forever a sense of déja vu, it's a great starting point for any listeners looking to get into Jazz and Funk music.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
November 5th 2012


4453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Shout-out to blackzombie for introducing the band.

This review was also uploaded in these fine music sites:
http://www.thealtreview.net/
http://mediasnobs.com/

tommygun
November 5th 2012


25138 Comments


Damn dude you are on fire lately, really nice review! Pos hard.

Digging: Banks - Goddess

klap
Staff Reviewer
November 5th 2012


10545 Comments


i find it odd that you capitalize genres but this was a solid review. you tend to be really flowery with your language though

Digging: Jessie Ware - Tough Love

tommygun
November 5th 2012


25138 Comments


"you tend to be really flowery with your language though"

That's my favourite thing about Hernan's style.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
November 5th 2012


4453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh thanks Tommy, very kind of you to say.

@Rudy
Yeah, I realize that. I sometimes try to hard to sound professional, maybe it can come of as pretentious at times, I dont know. But it's kind of become my style, it sort of comes out naturally when I write now.

klap
Staff Reviewer
November 5th 2012


10545 Comments


it isn't always a bad thing. there's a lot of wonderful sentences here, for example the second paragraph has some lovely descriptions/comparisons. but something like "The music is exquisitely mellifluous, with each musician taking turns to engage in their own soloistic voyage" strikes me as a bit overwrought. again, it's more of a personal thing

Acanthus
November 5th 2012


9545 Comments


Bring on the funk! Going to give this a try, love the keys in "You Mess Me Up."

Digging: MO - No Mythologies To Follow

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
November 5th 2012


4453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thank you. I like it the way it is, but I'm open to suggestions, especially from a Staff memeber. How would you have that particular sentence?

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
November 5th 2012


4453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I hope you like it Acanthus. Let me know what you think of it.

klap
Staff Reviewer
November 5th 2012


10545 Comments


can't say how i would have worded it but i try to avoid phrases like "soloistic voyage" that don't tend to crop up in ordinary speech. i try to write in a conversant style though which is more of a personal choice than anything else so it's really a matter of preference. too much verbal puffery and i get the feeling that the writer might be making up for his own lack of knowledge by trying to sound verbose. obviously this isn't the case here because you know this style of music very well but i'd just watch out for it.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
November 5th 2012


4453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@Klap
I get what you mean. And thanks for the input. I'll watch out it for it from now on. Honestly I started writing this way because I really like to write and I wanted to be taken seriously, so I took on a more "professional" tone. I read too much also and that influences my writing. I'll change the sentence though, make it more conversational. Again, thanks for the comment.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
November 5th 2012


20077 Comments


Haha paperback you're too nice you didn't have to change that sentence. As Klap said it just comes down to personal preference and I really enjoyed the review. I see where Klap is coming from about u being too wordy at times, but u should write whatever way makes you happy.

Another great review though and u def deserved a feature pos'd

Digging: Circa Survive - Descensus

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
November 5th 2012


20077 Comments


Also the 2 unjustified negz are bullshit and just go to show what's wrong with this site. If youre gonna neg poor Hernan's review at least have the decency to say why or give constructive feedback you utter tools.

AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
November 5th 2012


2033 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, have a pos! Few things:

Remember that punctuation goes inside quotes. Also, conventionally, song titles are just in double quotes (not italicized), album titles are italicized. Doing two things to something essentially identifies it as both of the types (i.e. a song title and an album title).

In its midsection, we find the music arriving into jam break

Should be "a jam break."

exhibits a much heavier sound, expressing the aggressive and dynamic nature of rock music, but while still retaining a funky demeanor.

You can nix the "but" here. "While" is an adequate transition that has an understood contrast and present tense possession. You could honestly kill "still" as well and it'd flow a little more nicely.

It's one of the lengthier tracks and like "Summercamp",

Comma after "and." I think this is the only real comma error, so you've done well (as expected, you're a good writer).

It's adventurous, while also emphasizing on being as accessible as possible.

"It's adventurous, yet highly accessible." Too much tense shifting otherwise.

Again, otherwise very good writing (though I scorn the word "improvisatory" with all of my being). I will definitely be checking this out!

Digging: Damascus - When Last We Met

CaptainDooRight
November 5th 2012


30251 Comments


Pos'd koo rev, may def check this

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
November 5th 2012


28788 Comments


i generally dislike your reviews but I dig the way you open this one

you have some serious grammatical issues but overall not bad

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
November 5th 2012


28788 Comments


take rudy's advice to heart i 123 that

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
November 5th 2012


20077 Comments


it's okay Hernan i generally LIKE your reviews so keep up the good work.

Calc
November 5th 2012


12303 Comments


I like your reviews too but i agree with Rudy 100% about the fluffy language

Digging: Mr. Oizo - The Church

MO
November 5th 2012


18998 Comments


whoa klap with the name change rip



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