Afroskull – Monster For The Masses


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Release Date:  2000

Label:  Secret Ninja Records


Track List

1 The Attack 0:50
2 Kill Whitey 6:54
3 Layers 7:02
4 The Obstacle Course 7:55
5 Curiosity 5:20
6 Radio Alert 0:43
7 It 8:41
8 Space Chicken 5:49
9 Television Intermission 0:52
10 Eat This 8:43
11 Theme From Afroskull / Monster For The Masses 7:05
12 Beefcake 7:47



Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone – Scott Bourgeoius (tracks: 2, 3, 4, 12)
Bass – Bill Richards (5)
Drums – Jason Isaac (2)
Guitar, Trombone [2, 4, 5, 8, 11], Producer, Mixed By – Joe Scatassa
Keyboards – John Brewer (tracks: 4), Matt Barone
Organ, Electric Piano – Magic Earl Scioneaux (tracks: 2, 7, 12)
Percussion – Chuk Barber
Tenor Saxophone – Clarence J. Johnson III (tracks: 4), Mike Jenner (tracks: 4, 5, 8, 11)
Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone – Jason Mingledorf (tracks: 2, 4, 10)
Trombone – Jason Yasinsky (tracks: 2, 3, 4, 12)
Trumpet – Antonio Gambrelle (tracks: 8), Chuck Arnold (2) (tracks: 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 11), Mark Rapp (tracks: 4), Nick Voltz (tracks: 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 11, 12)



With such nuevo-funksters as Galactic and Papa Grows Funk populating the New Orleans scene, it’s little wonder that worthy upstarts like NOLA sextet Afroskull can remain a well-kept secret. But it is no less a shame. Afroskull is a party sound to write home about – a stiff, sophisticated cocktail of groove rock and brass-drenched fusion – and the band’s October 2000 release Monster for the Masses is a bracing and intoxicating debut.

“Starsky and Hutch” fans will thrill to “Kill Whitey,” a note-perfect soundtrack to a ’70s car chase, all hairpin skids and slides atop an eight-cylinder bottom end churning with inertia. “Layers” catches the band picking Stevie Wonder’s pocket to delicious effect when its “Higher Ground” groove goes white-hot and critical. “Curiosity” drops a distinctly P-Funk flavor into the stew pot ,and the companion pieces “It” and “Theme From Afroskull” showcase the band’s metal edge (recently honed, according to the band’s website, in several three-hour performances featuring nothing but Black Sabbath covers).

Afroskull’s rotating horn section, ranging here from three to nine men deep, punctuates the heady compositions of Bill Richards and Joe Scatassa with fire and authority. But while sometimes-sax man Scott Bourgeoius shows off a mighty command of melody and tension, and while Scatassa can wring out a lead guitar line vaguely reminiscent of Mahavishnu-era McLaughlin, Afroskull seems mostly unburdened by blazing virtuosity.

To be fair, though, that’s the New Orleans way. It’s not about the ingredients; it’s about the dish. And if the word gets out, Afroskull ought to have them coming back for seconds.

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