Test results won't come back for several weeks, but preliminary reports indicate that Anything Is Possible, the third studio album from Vancouver's 11-member outfit Five Alarm Funk, is a potent mind-altering substance. We're talking the kind of drug that hits you in seconds. Symptoms include euphoria, involuntary head bopping and toe tapping, compulsive hip-twisting, and possibly even skanking. There is no known cure.
The album's active ingredients include Afrobeat, funk, rock, jazz and ska, to name a few. A gleeful exuberance shines through on every tune.
The band's audacity smacks you upside the head on the first track, "Infernal Monologue," featuring the Vancouver Bach Children's Choir and a fiendish prog-rock guitar groove. "Zenith Escalator" establishes the album's funk factor (not to mention the legitimacy of the band's name) with frenetic poly-rhythmic guitars and percussion, a vocal line sounding like James Brown on a double dose of Captain Beefheart, and an infectious, churning baritone sax lick.
"Titan" offers a rusty old snake-charming guitar groove coaxing out a snappy Zappa-esque horn section. The sad, jazzy texture of "Soft Six" is made more sad by the plaintive pout of an accordion. A Tarantino film guitar riff triggers an infectious ska groove on "Doctor Child." And "Broadway," a nifty slice of funk metal, illustrates what any conscientious band can achieve with three excellent guitarists.
So have a listen to this richly textured, Afrobeat funk rock on 'roids album and submit to the shaking of any body part that's not tied down. Even long after you're finished listening, you'll still be shaking. Like an addict in withdrawal.
-Jody McCutcheon (Chartattack) September 9, 2010
Tayo Branston - Drums/Vocals
Tom Towers - Congas/Bongos
Justin Kennedy - Shekere/Percussion
Carl Julig - Timbales/Percussion
Neil Towers - Bass
Oliver Gibson - Guitar
Gabe Boothroyd - Guitar
Ryan Naso - Trumpet
Kent Wallace - Trumpet
Dameian Walsh - Tenor/Alto/Bari Sax
Nimish Parekh - Trombone