The Budos Band: Frontier’s Edge [Album Review]

The Budos Band
Frontier’s Edge
Diamond West Records [2023]

The Budos Band, known for their unique instrumental blend of Afrobeat, funk, soul, and psychedelic rock, has once again delivered a powerful and mesmerizing release with their new mini-album, Frontier’s Edge. The band enters a new era after a two-decade run with the legendary Daptone Records. Frontier’s Edge marks the first new music from the group on the new label, Diamond West Records, which is run by The Budos’ saxophonist, Jared Tankel, and guitarist, Tom Brenneck. This 6-track, 16-minute record showcases the band’s exceptional musicianship and ability to create an energetic and intoxicating sonic experience.

From the opening title track, it becomes evident that The Budos Band is still a force to be reckoned with. The song kicks off with a groovy, sinister guitar riff before their signature powerful horn section immediately draws listeners into their world of grooves and rhythms. The tight-knit instrumentation sets the tone for the rest of the album, where each member’s contribution shines brightly. There is undoubtedly a new spark within the band as each song jumps out at you with immediate impact.

Despite its shorter overall running time and more concise tracks, one of the standout aspects of this album is the band’s ability to take their signature sound and infuse it with fresh ideas. The spacey intro on “KRITN” is a great setup, while the song battles back and forth between keys and horns before drifting off into the darkness of space. Tracks like “Crescent Blade” and “Passage To Ashinol” exemplify this growth, as they introduce captivating blended arrangements where it sounds like the members are almost playing two different tunes but consistently meet at a crossroad that works!

Frontier’s Edge is an impressive display of musicianship and creativity. It cements the band’s position as masters of their craft and pioneers of a distinct and captivating sound. The infusion of different musical elements, the tight arrangements, and the undeniable energy make this album a must-listen for fans of the band. Whether you’re a devoted follower or a newcomer to their music, The Budos Band will undoubtedly leave you craving more of their infectious tunes, as their blaring horns end the final track, “Curled Steel,” creating a salute and open door to their future.

“Frontier’s Edge” / “KRITN”” / “Curled Steel”

Orgone / El Michels Affair / The Heliocentrics

Long In The Tooth (2020) / V (2019)

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Thomas Wilde

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