The Budos Band: V
After an extended break between releases, instrumental outfit The Budos Band is back with their fifth full-length LP, simply titled V , which, despite the interim, picks up where the band left off with 2014’s Burnt Offering . That record was the first of the group’s releases to break from the self-titled format of Budos Band I-III .And, while V returns to that system, the new tracks aren’t necessarily a full-circle throwback to the early, Afrobeat-heavy Budos sound. From the first notes of opening track “Old Engine Oil”—which kicks off the album with a heavy, almost Zeppelin-esque riff from guitarist/producer Tom Brenneck— the hard-rock and metal influences widely showcased in Burnt Offering make their presence known. Brenneck’s guitar is certainly a driving force of the band, handling a fair amount of the main melodies and mostly leaning toward dark, gothic tones like on “Peak of Eternal Night,” which pairs Brenneck’s heavy, deliberate notes with a bright, brassy horn-line counterpoint from saxophonist Jared Tankel and trumpeter Andrew Greene. “Ghost Talk” may be the song most reminiscent of early Budos, with its more expansive use of percussion, while album-closer “Valley of the Damned” could easily have been a track on Burnt Offering with its ominous, plodding bassline, dirge like horn charts and soaring guitar flourishes. Recorded during a time of flux for the once completely New York-based Budos Band, with Brenneck and Tankel’s recent cross-country moves, V proves that the group can still dig deep into their unique musical perspective and, despite the geographical distance, create compelling art that begs to be played live to a writhing crowd.