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ArrJam: Session One

I seem to have been a regular on the improv review circuit lately and yet Italians ArrJam (they sound like a kind of Pirate preserve…) are different. This isn't avant-garde noodling over loops and bloops - oh no. This is funk rock with some vocals and a pile of instrumentals. There's groove, they're smoove and and they know how to make you snooze…. Well sometimes they do and other times ArrJam shoogle you about so violently that you can't help be impressed and excited. There's very little interest being contemporary; this is the 70s man and don't you funkin' well forget it - although latter day exponents of funk rock are revered as well. So let the bass boing, encourage the drums to dance and get the guitar growling. Yet Got's voice has the merest hint of James Labrie (Dream Theater) about it, giving a strangely Prog Metal lilt to the less exuberant moments, while adding an edge otherwise unexpected in these Fusion on steroids surrounds.

The three musicians (although ArrJam claim Got's improvisations see his voice used as an instrument also), Il Daz (bass), Moretti Butcher (complete with butcher's apron - drums) and Mauroman (guitar) lock in securely and certainly know what drives a gripping groove to gargantuan proportions. However, as with all "unconstructed" albums, the main issue here remains that while Session One sounds like simply superb fun to a have sat in on, it isn't always that engaging for those reclined on their couch at home, or dawdling to the shops with their 'plugs in.

"Very Nice" must be the band's shot at the big time, an "orchestrated" and edited version tacked on the end of the album and yet accessibility isn't necessarily on the menu. There's certainly an "in", the melody line memorable and hummable, but hit material this is not.

If you fancy an uncontrolled frolic through some Red Hot Chilli Peppers meets Living Colour, via James Labrie and a hugely 70s funk rock vibe, then Session One may well be for you. However bear in mind that much of it is instrumental and little of it is quite as fun as as it initially sounds like it should be.

Track Listing
1. Ali (Instrumental)
2. Highway 49
3. Out Of Control
4. Dark Fusion (Instrumental)
5. Very Nice
6. "Vorrei"
7. Welcome To The Cocaine (Instrumental)
8. Smashing On The Wall
9. Incomplete (Instrumental)
10. Screaming For
11. Very Nice (Orchestrated Version)
12. Very Nice (Radio Ed

Added: February 21st 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: ArrJam online
Hits: 1165
Language: english

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