The Shuffle Demons ClusterFunk

In the 19 years since they released their last LP, members of the Shuffle Demons have provided artists like Holly Cole, Kathleen Edwards and Big Sugar a stable of unfailing and musically charismatic session players. On LP number five, ClusterFunk, the Toronto, ON jazz-funk revivalists promptly show off just how refined and world-wise they've become over the years. Although songs like "Way After Midnight" and "Fukushima" contain vivacious, extended sax freak-outs that wouldn't sound out of place on Tzadik Records, the Demons' latest batch of soul-patch funk promptly reminds listeners just how dated their sound has become. "He's the Drummer" and "Bottles and Cans," although sonically fit and taut, do little to update that specific brand of neon-zoot-suited-goof-charm that even the Red Hot Chili Peppers had enough sense to abandon. ClusterFunk, like most of the Shuffle Demons' catalogue, is a schizoid grab bag, showing a band with one foot stuck in the past and the other even further back. (Linus)