The Discounts Part One

Conway Pacheco, front-man for the Discounts, proclaims that he and his group have come "to drop the rock on your head." That is to say, they are bringing their particular fusion of funk, reggae and rap to your eardrums from their home base of St. John's, Newfoundland. Their album, Part One, contains ten tracks that range from the intentionally absurd ("I Ate the President") to something that sounds straight out of a Broadway musical ("Harmful Harmony"). To get to the bare bones of it, these guys are having a lot of fun making music. This doesn't stop them from taking on serious subject matter like George Bush's tenure as U.S. President and the war in Iraq in "8 Long Years." Instrumentally, the group are excellent and thus Part One plays out as an extended invitation that calls to fans to check the group out in a live setting, which is where they could really show their mettle. Curtis Andrews (drums) and Patrick Boyle (trumpet) are particularly impressive. However, one's ultimate enjoyment of this album will lie in their opinions of the vocals, which have a life of their own, depending on what track you are listening to, and may not exactly be everyone's cup of tea. (El Pacheco)