I listen to a wide variety of music, while the majority of it either is napalm spewing guitar violence, or fuzzed out stoner jams there’s still a few genres that give me major musical wood. Funk is one of those such genres. Something about a rump-rattlin’ bassline and oh so glorious horn sections just tickle me right down to my shins. So when I find out there’s a hybrid called chunk which combines funk, rock and hip hop you can be damn well sure I’m jumping on that train.
T Bird and the Breaks are an Austin, Texas based chunk group that have been pumping out records since what looks like 2009. They seem to have garnered a fair amount of (well deserved) attention but this is the first time my ears have been turned in their direction. While I’ll be diving into their back catalog at one point or another, I’ve been focusing on their two most recent releases. “Never Get Out of this Funk Alive” from 2011 and “Dancehall Freakin EP” from March of this year.
Stylistically, the Breaks bounce their away across pretty much every and any genre in their search for good tunes and good times. Fat bottomed basslines, gang vocals, joyous guitar solos, gang vocals, HORNS, harmonicas and a tasteful use of samples and synths. Tracks like “B-B-Burn!” show a more guitar/percussion oriented breed, a funk ‘n’ roll sort of vibe. While “Never Get Out of this Funk Alive” plays out more like a hip hop infused funk track.
The one thing that remains constant through all the tracks is the rock solid vocals provided by T-Bird. From traditional funk to some damn pleasing hip-hop, his voice provides the momentum for the rest of the group to build around. And yes, there are rap songs, but it’s more a early Beasties kind of rap, slick deliveries and great flows. There’s also a generous helping of guest vocalist in the form of either backup signers or as full on duets.
The other constant is the energy. Even on their slower funk trains the songs are stilled packed to the brim with insanely infectious energy. You can tell there’s a lot of passion and a lot of love put into this music. It’s just happy music. Well written, well played and well designed happy go-go joytime music. It almost makes me an optimist. Almost.
I often talk about loving fun music and this is no exception. No expense is spared at making music that is just so fucking joyous you can’t help but dance. And if your not dancing, your writhing around so much in your chair you might as well just get up and shake loose. It’s just that good. I really hope they make a trip to Toronto at some time, as this is one of those things you just want to see live.
All of their albums are up on Bandcamp for damn reasonable prices. So unless your too kvlt to have fun, get yo FUNK ON!
Streams for the two albums: