[twitter style=”vertical” float=”left”] [fbshare type=”button”] [google_plusone size=”standard” annotation=”none” language=”English (UK)”] Founded in 2002, DRUNKSOULS are an indie/reggae French band sonically similar to Manu Chao, Gorillaz and Damian Marley. Their music is a patchwork of influences intended to make you dance as well as think. The Daily Consciousness says they’re “creating a unique sound with little to no borders.” Their songs, sometimes playful and sometimes dark, carry a message of reconciliation and tolerance, in which humour and gravity are intelligently cohabiting. Rock Is Rock says of the band “Dead Prez called themselves ‘Revolutionary but Gangster’. If that’s the case then DRUNKSOULS are ‘Revolutionary but Funny’.”
DRUNKSOULS have received a high amount of word-of-mouth from their fanbase, generating over 100,000 downloads of their debut album. Their music has been used in films like the documentary “I Believe I Can Fly”, whose trailer alone has garnered over 5 million views. DRUNKSOULS have played in legendary venues such as the mythical stage of Olympia-Bruno Coquatrix. In 2011, DRUNKSOULS were given the chance to play twice in another legendary venue, the Grand Auditorium du Palais des Festivals de Cannes, one of the events supporting the African Reggae Star TIKEN JAH FAKOLI.
Now, DRUNKSOULS are back with “Revolution”, a 16 track album offering of rock, reggae, electro, funk and pop. Building on the success of their debut, the band continues on the path of poppy hooks and political/emotional lyrics with tracks like “Human Race”, “The Fall” and “Revolution”.
The album kicks off with a steamy bass driven, reggae influenced dance track, entitled “Drifter Song”. Lead singer DjaM digs in with a laid back lead vocal scattered over funky falsetto chorus lines. This is a handclapping and footstomping floor burner.
The tracks “Human Race”, J’ai Fait Un Reve” and “Lust” breeze by elegantly before you encounter “Africa”.
A track where Pierre Pesin on trumpet and Romain Morello on trombone blow some mean horn phrases, while DjaM’s bitter beseeching vocals, drag you straight into the heart of an african village. Your emotions will struggle to remain immune to this atmospheric gem.
Song after song, I convince myself that DjaM’s voice has an uncanny effect, similar to that of Roland Gift, lead singer of the famous 80’s band, the Fine Young Cannibals.
A voice that cries out desperately in the midst of joy. A voice that flaunts two opposing emotions in one single word. A rare trait.
“L’amour Dietetique” takes us straight into “Sullivan Story”, where the DRUNKSOULS detour faintly into the realms of Beat music, a fusion of rock and roll, doo-wop, skiffle, R&B and soul, made famous during the ’60’s in the United Kingdom.
“Happy Death Day” displays another delectable style mutation. A slow melancholy marching chant, featuring hypnotic keyboard playing by Jean Marc Layani. Very reminiscent of early Genesis with the eccentric brilliance of Peter Gabriel
“Supermarket” is another dance hall track, while “Separation” falls back into the classic 3/4 reggae beat. On both these tracks bassist Adrien Coulomb takes the lion’s share with some delightful picking.
On “Always” and “Studium w Bieli”, guitarist JU begins to unleash his soulful six-string.
“The Fall” is both melodic and radio-ready reggae, that falls somewhere between Manu Chao and classic UB40.
The title track “Revolution” is probably the most progressive arrangement on the album. A modern aggressive guitar-based rocker, that uncovers the harder side of the DRUNKSOULS. Drummer Julien Heurtel carries this one on his shoulders, with some solid stick-work.
Ironically “The End” is not the end, but leads to “Uniform” the final song on this 16 track album.
So much like the rest of the album, “Uniform” is filled with varied mood and tempo changes.
The DRUNKSOULS hardcore appeal, is obviously geared towards their reggae roots, but the band’s honest and charming musical arrangements, are contagious.
A solid rhythm section, boosted by scathing brass sounds, a soulful singer and some really powerful song themes, will convince many fans of other genres to admire this band’s craftmenship.
The DRUNKSOULS are what crossover World Music is all about.