Brownout Homenaje

Texas has always been strong with the funk, but both East Coast Fania-style salsa and West Coast Santana-style Latin rock seem to be making their presences felt more these days than ever before. Like state-mates Grupo Fantasma, Brownout add pan-Latino grooves to their sound. Homenaje starts strong with the laidback "Brown Wind and Fire” — so many great song titles on this album — before getting into the proud horns and electric piano montuno of the title cut. Seemingly every style of Latin rock and funk is essayed here, with steady kit drumming to keep it all break beat-oriented throughout. While there are numerous tips of the hat to their influences, and the band are tight, these songs lack personality. The retro-style production and flawless execution go a long way and would definitely make for a fun night out. This album is what it is: a good party record. But Brownout have yet to transcend their influences; I’d love to hear them go beyond the short song lengths of this album and really lay out. (Freestyle)