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Review: Voodoo Sunshine, 'Somethin To Say' 

***1/2
Voodoo Sunshine
Somethin to Say
Self-released
click to enlarge Somethin To Say
  • Somethin To Say

Somethin to Say is the debut EP of Indianapolis band, Voodoo Sunshine. The band blends the good time rock & roll of '70s FM radio with funk-influenced basslines. This is music for drinking and dancing to, often recalling another dancing-and-drinking band, Sublime.

"Candy and Cigarettes"'s relaxing groove is perfectly suited for a summer drive, windows down, volume cranked — which is the lyrical conceit of the track. It's a solid opening cut whose emphasis on groove recalls the early work of The Black Crowes. The most impressive feature on the track is the harmonies, which have an earthy quality about them, suiting the laid-back vibe of the track.

"Bad Hangover" continues in a similar fashion, a nice crunchy riff that recalls early Pearl Jam and whose delightfully bouncy bass line give the track some lovely coloration.

The guitar on "Atmosphere" has a more metallic sound, reminiscent of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal; at times the chugging guitar melody recalls Jake E. Lee on Ozzy Osbourne's "Bark At The Moon." It's a bit of a departure point for the EP and is showcases the group's ability to shift into different styles and genres. The track flirts with going fully heavy metal, but remains rooted primarily in a hard rock sound.

"Rainbows and Blow" is the most radio friendly cut on the EP, it features a catchy melody and the "Sha-na-na" is a memorable hook. The guitar riff is one of the best on the EP. The line near the end of the song about the baby seal hints at the more political nature of the last song on the EP.

Lyrics on much of the EP are absurdist in nature and it's an approach that serves Voodoo Sunshine well, but it's on "Somethin to Say" where the lyrics are the major focus — on other cuts, lyrics seem almost incidental to the groove.

The title cut of the EP is an indictment of those who abuse their power to benefit only themselves; teachers, political leaders, the war on drugs and even the news media are some of the band's targets.

Somethin to Say is a solid debut EP. Voodoo Sunshine shows promise and a knack for crafting solid melodies and memorable hooks. The group's secret weapon is the harmonies of guitarist Scot White, drummer Jim Bailey and bassist Steve Williams; they'd be well served to use this strength on future releases.

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