The Sound Stylistics – Greasin’ The Wheels (2009)

The Sound Stylistics - Greasin' The Wheels (2009)
Artist: The Sound Stylistics
Album: Greasin’ The Wheels
Genre: Funk / Soul
Origin: UK
Released: 2009
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps

01. Tie One On (4:38)
02. The Crisis Generator (4:54)
03. Crack Away Jack (4:13)
04. Eye Of The Storm (5:47)
05. Knucklehead (5:34)
06. The Taking Of Peckham 343 (4:47)
07. The Burner (6:23)
08. Say It Aint So (5:35)
09. One For The Road (5:25)
10. El nino (5:28)
11. Cornholin (4:22)
12. Big Pieces (5:02)


Funk used to be so big in the 70’s and 80’s, a “happy” genre created by the african american community that contrasted with the sound that prog and metal heads were doing on the other side of the Atlantic; bands like Parliament-Funkadelic with an excellent leader like George Clinton or the music by Stevie Wonder were just what that era needed, however it started to decline to a point that, to this day it is almost impossible to find a band/artist with a truly funky style. That’s if you look into the mainstream though, because if you check deeper you can find a bunch of british boys “feeling da funk” in a way that has never been felt in years.

There isn’t much to say about the Stylistics’s story (since there isn’t a lot of information available), the band was born in London in 2002 when a bunch of funk musicians from different bands decided to create a musical project together and produced their first album, Deep Funk, that wasn’t released until 2007. That’s it if we refer to their story, if we refer to their sound, there’s a lot to be said.

Greasin’ the Wheels is the band’s second LP and it is quite a magnificent work. The album follows a Deep Funk style, a variation of funk that’s more focused on a complex and powerful instrumentation and does it in a perfect way.

The album, a 100% instrumental piece, is a phenomenal achievement by extremly talented musicians and the truth is that, from the very first moment, a gigantic wave of energy will fill your whole body: fast drumming and potent horns are the staple of a record that will make you feel like you’re in a chase from the Starsky & Hutch 70’s show; a nostalgic, funky atmosphere that at the same time manages to be fresh and creative.

Songs that are vivid and full of joy and power like the opener or The Taking of Peckham 343 can be found in here but on a parallel view we can also notice ethereal, calmed and atmospheric songs like Eye of the Storm or One for the Road, and the thing is that Greasin’ the Wheels manages to mix that funk that’s full of vigor in a la Clinton way with smooth passages that could be easily labeled as jazz.

Dancing, or at least following the ryhthm of the songs with your body is the least you can do when you listen to songs like these, however that doesn’t mean that the album is flawless; there isn’t a single song in here that isn’t great but there are just some songs that just aren’t as good as the others. Some of the songs in here, while awesome, aren’t just that epic when you compare them to other pieces of music found in here that are even better.

However, the only flaw of the album being some cool songs getting overshadowed by even cooler songs just proves how awesome Greasin’ the Wheels is. A colorful experience by an unknown band, reviving a genre that hasn’t shined as it used to in many years, a record that will make you feel da funk flowing through your veins and that’s certainly essential for every fan of the genre.
Review by JP Patino Izquierdo

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