With a CV like the one that Lettuce boasts, you could be excused for thinking that their music is just going to be about technical virtuosity and funky tricks and gimmicks but actually there is a very personal voice at the heart and forefront of this band.
Of course they draw on a vast library of American groove and you are constantly picking up on references from decades of quality stylistic cues.
Right from the outset I’m feeling like I’m at a big summery festival. It’s mid afternoon and the sun is beating down. The crowd are awakened from the hiatus metered out by the excesses of the previous night. Everyone is tapping toes and swaying easily and with synchronicity. Of course I’m actually just listening alone on a home stereo but somehow I’m teleported to this place. That’s a mighty powerful capability.
Sometimes it can be difficult to identify where the band stop and the producer starts. I like that. You get a feel that the production team are as much a part of the band as the band themselves. Maybe they are one and the same but I get the feel that the producer is equally involved in driving the feeling of this record forward.
I’m not a big fan of fusion or genre mixing for the sake of it but this recording offers that type of cross pollination in spades and it is achieved with a very natural feel.
This record has the sharpness of early Fishbone, an impressive groove tipping a nod to Nile Rodgers, Stevie Wonder etc and an overarching feel of unity that the likes of Black Uhuru or The Blockheads could turn on at will.
I can see myself listening to this in a ’67 Mustang convertible while driving south on Highways 1 and 101.
If you like summer, horns and spacefunk then you really should definitely buy this record.