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Gang of Thieves | Dinosaur Sandwich Party

Album review by John Powell

Gang of Thieves | Dinosaur Sandwich Party

Self-proclaimed, the Burlington-based Gang of Thieves have finally discovered their sound. On their self-titled debut there was a clear desire to rock and a clear robbing (they are thieves after all) of the 90s funk/punk/rock heroes everyone of their generation can appreciate. Namely, these are Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against the Machine; only G.O.T. already had both beat by not being incomprehensible lyrically or Debbie Downers when it came to content. Instead, they came at us hard, with enough guitar riffs, vocal hooks, and thumping bass and drums to keep the ear entertained for 10 tracks.

Dinosaur Sandwich Party, named after the only thing a friend could say in Sign Language that aptly defined a really good time, Gang of Thieves’ second album grew from their major U.S. tour, adventures camping in strange places, meeting strange people, and definitely coming up with plenty of inside jokes. Take the track names alone: “Dharma Dojo”, “Wombo Combo”, and “The Bunny Song” are all totally original titles, and while the boys are still taking the best parts of funk, rock, blues, and even hip hop, the songs are original too.

“Wet Milk” starts with a deep-voiced sample and slow strummed guitar- Metallica intro style, but then Mike Reit, wielding the mic like a weapon, comes in with quick and quick-witted near raps. “The mask on your face is a part of the enemy,” goes the chorus, with just enough hookiness that you’ll sing along even when you’re not really sure what’s meant by the line. Bassist Tobin Salas and drummer Cornelius Florucci hold it down in deep rock n’ roll fashion while guitarist Nick Wood turns his fuzz up and slams home with a Hendrix-worthy slow-go guitar. The boys have gotten extremely good at communicating. There’s plenty of start/stop riffing, with the drums, bass, and guitar dipping in and out until Mike shouts, “Break!” and they do.

The title track leans into Parliament-era Pfunk, dripping with effected bass, slow 4/4 drumming, and Mike narrating a strange night out. “United we stand/as the funky-ass blast band,” it goes. “Kicking jams all day in the sun.” This self-reflection of awesomeness is also in old school funk fashion, but there are undercurrents of real-life reflection too. “Just another day,” Mike sings towards the end. “Wanna get paid/wanna get laid,” and then he says, “I hope I never see another tray.” It’s safe to say the Gang is intent on rocking full time, and screw the Man that says they can’t.

“The Funky Bassman” is either a biopic of Gang bassist Tobin, or his doppelganger. “He’s a dreadlock rocker/mojo popper/funky mutherfucker blowing slugs at the coppers,” is how it starts. “All he needs/is just another bass jam.” It’s a key track- totally fun, filled with slick rhymes, funky rhythm sections, and a different approach to an instrumental breakdown for the Gang, becoming a palm-muted punk prelude to the inevitable shredding solo.

For a closer, “The Bunny Song”, which is about the bunny from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, rocks passionately before swishing off into Pink Floyddian experimentation. The lyrics come rapid fire only for two and half minutes, and then everything slows, violin steps in gorgeously, building to three minutes of pure guitar fuzz on this seven-minute exit.

Each song progresses and never feels stale. While the entire band is excellent, Nick is the most easily accessible entrance. If you like electric guitar, you’ll love Dinosaur Sandwich Party, an album with riffs to spare. The album is quiet, for some reason, either it’s not compressed too much, or simply came out of mixing not turned up enough. It sounds good, however. Mike’s voice is never lost. I’d love a bit more focus in the songs, (we’re not all privy to these inside jokes, I mean), but this never gets in the way cranking the Party and singing along.

Bottom line: Rock may have died, but no one minds such a great resurrection.


0 # Al Hubert 2011-10-04 09:03
its okay not bad but not as great as the article suggests

its a poor man's chili peppers to be honest a la 80s era hillel flea anthony irons,

its poor quality but its refreshing then other bands

if you want funk get uplift mofo party plan


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