Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket’s Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket
By Jennifer Russo
I am sitting at my computer at work and I click a link that begins playing Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket’s CD. All of a sudden, my cube walls flare with tie dye flashes of color, psychedelically spinning in time to the beat. A disco ball appears over my head where the A/C vent used to be. My suit is replaced instantly by red bellbottom jeans and a silk blouse complete with butterfly collar ~ and I have a white girl afro. Daisies and peace signs fall from the sky onto my desk. I am in 1970 and mellow.
This music puts the groove in groovy. You would swear you were listening to oldies radio, but this band is happenin’ today right under your very noses. I had a chance to chat with keyboardist extraordinaire Brett Badalato ~ also known as “Reverend Bad Funk” ~ about their style choice and he tells me that they “…like to consider our sound as Beantown Funk. To us that means the sounds of Boston nightlife ~ rooted in funk, but also incorporating rock, hip hop, Latin step, groove, blues, soul, R&B…Quite simply, we choose what moves us.”
BODB, who has shared the stage with the likes of Michael “Kidd Funkadelic” Hampton (of George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic), Tracy Bonham, and Dopapod, and is inspired by artists including James Brown, the Beastie Boys, and Sly & The Family Stone, view music as a uniting force. Says Badalato, “Everything in life is about balance and harmony; music is an expression of this. Music brings us together, unites us and transcends all our differences. It’s the key to everything and the heartbeat of the universe. It makes us laugh, cry, makes us strong, makes us weak… it’s the driving force behind us all, whether we acknowledge it or not.”
Grab BODB’s debut CD, pick out some funky merch, keep tabs on upcoming groove sessions or hear their music at their official website: www.bigoldirtybucket.com ~ and be sure to like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/funkybucket.
While you’re at it, check out a video of them playing live at www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0bv6vCa6nY.
By Jason Savio
Centerlink’s three song self-titled EP is a smash and grab job; it’s short, fast, and at the end of listening to it you are left wondering what just happened. It’s a musical drive-by. Like most metal groups, the Boston band wear their testosterone-fueled badge proudly in hopes of being the deputies who bring hard rock back to town. If this quick EP is any indication, Centerlink ~ formed from members of UpperHand and Den of Thieves ~ could be well on their way to a successful run.
Even though they tease us with only three songs, Centerlink (Parky ~ guitars, vocals, Jon ~ drums, and Billy-K ~ bass, vocals) manage to pack a lot in and offer a pretty good idea of what they’re all about. Lyrics aside, the band shows some suave sophistication with their musicianship. There are distorted guitars that leave plenty of sore behinds, but Parky’s guitar solos, especially the one that opens “The Fallen,” are more lyrical and much more than just a flurry of notes being spewed out for the sake of making noise.
The heavy pounder “Fight Back” is sure to be a crowd rager that’ll get the mosh pit going with its chanting chorus and locomotive tempo. The final track, “Vindictive,, encapsulates the sound of Centerlink and has an upbeat Iron Maiden inspired riff that doesn’t get bogged down in the black mire other metal/hard rock riffs often do. There’s no mistake that these guys can kick plenty of ass, but thanks to the rhythm section, they do it with a swing rather than a stumble. With some old school swagger, Centerlink proves that not all metal has to be rhythmless .
For more info, visit www.reverbnation.com/centerlink.
The Dunwells’ Blind Sighted Faith
By Joshua Lyford
Playing a record for the first time ~ without any preconceived notions about the band’s sound ~ is one of life’s simple pleasures. Sometimes you find your new favorite band, sometimes you wind up listening to something unintentionally hilarious or just plain bad.
Luckily, The Dunwells belong to the former group. The band hides the aural content of their debut album, Blind Sighted Faith, well. The cover art is nondescript and discreet, showing only an artsy city skyline at the foreground of a brightly burning sun; inside the plastic, however, is a well-rounded alternative record courtesy of Dave Hanson and brothers Joseph and David Dunwell taking on guitar and vocals and Rob Clayton and Jonny Lamb holding down the rhythm section and also lending their vocal chops.
The CD starts off with the single “I Could Be a King” and by the time you hit its fourth song, “Only Me,” the record has painted your mental canvas with every hue in the musical color spectrum. Brush strokes from pop radio, folk, and something similar to, but not quite exactly like, modern country keep the album interesting throughout its eleven songs.
The band has guitar and vocal melodies coming at you from all directions, which is a huge asset to their sound. On songs like “Follow the Road,” the guitar work does a great job of creating a sweaty southern atmosphere and the vocal harmonies make you wonder if there is a choir of sweet, sweet angels inside your speakers.
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