Next Best Thing Working Machine

Having been the next best thing since 1999, this Burlington, ON sextet have had no problem cutting their own trail away from a city usually noted for punk bands. Most known for their inability to choose a sound and stick with it, TNBT are making it fashionable to change styles song by song and add their own stamp to each one along the way. Working Machine is a grab bag of Jamaican music styles that have been tinkered with to include turntables, hip-hop, jazz and R&B elements. This makes for a mix-tape party style album, but if you’ve seen the band live you’ll know that’s what they’re all about. The title track comes off as a pseudo Rasta chant meets party rap over a minimal drum and bass. "What You Need” is a sort of funk/ska with a good U-Roy impression thrown in and "I’m Alone” is Bobby McFerrin meets Buju Banton to uneven affect. But the fact that the band never takes themselves too seriously means that the fake accents are usually fun and the high energy style switching keeps things from getting boring. (Songhammer)