Bamboos Step It Up

There’s something funky going on down under, and we ain’t talking about your dirty drawers. Australia might not be one of the top choices for locating an incredibly tight funk outfit but the Bamboos have officially put their homeland on the map for raw dance floor scorchers. It helps to have one of funk’s hottest voices on board as Alice Russell belts out the fantastic title track fresh out the gates, and Step It Up doesn’t slow down for the entire race. With covers of Archie Bell and the Drell’s "Tighten Up” and jams that sound like carbon copies of the Meters ("Voodoo Doll”), the Bamboos aren’t exactly breaking new ground in the funk world. They’re basically following in the footsteps of our generation’s take on the genre, but they do it so incredibly well that you’ll forgive them for not quite having a flavour to call their own. The young Lance Ferguson will quickly be added to the ranks of Will Holland and Miles Tackett as he heads up his mere six-piece band through a flawless excursion of foot-moving breaks and horns that pay homage to a genre that probably isn’t exactly thriving in Melbourne. There’s really no stand out highlights on Step It Up as every track is required listening, though Alice Russell’s numbers find the tiny crooner’s powerful vocals are backed up just as effectively as her Quantic posse. Step It Up is simple in its approach, which could be contributed to an album pieced together with a few years worth of seven-inches, but the proof is in the pudding: the Bamboos are the greatest thing to come from down under since the Avalanches. (Tru Thoughts)