Rustic Overtones: Self Titled
In their 20 years, Rustic Overtones have taken inspiration from a wide variety of sources like David Bowie and Funkmaster Flex (who they collaborated with on 2001’s ¡Viva Nueva!), with a foundation of crafting soulful, horn-infused funk and rock. But the band’s eighth album, a self-titled 14-song collection, has a much more deliberate focus. As they were in the studio working on new material, founding multiinstrumentalist Dave Noyes passed away unexpectedly. The group soldiered on with the goal of bringing his creative vision to life: an album that draws heavily on ‘60s and ‘70s Brazilian psychedelia. With that in mind, the band didn’t make too radical of a departure. The album is chock-full of swinging horns and uptempo numbers that highlight frontman Dave Gutter’s knack for directness. On the swinging “In Your Bed,” he asks, “can I get in your bed” over and over to an ex-lover or maybe one he wants to get down with. “Black Shirt” is a hard-hitting ode to an amazing concert tee that’s never washed, while “Bruce Lee” pays homage to the master martial arts legend’s famous saying “Be like water.” “Government Shutdown,” a scathing political song, also cuts right to the chase, where Gutter bluntly says, “America’s a funeral” and “I ain’t effing with the government” over mellow horns and quiet rhythms. Which is pretty on par with what Rustic Overtones has done throughout their career, taking inspiration from their immediate surroundings and putting passion behind it.