Celebrating their 20th anniversary as modern day purveyors of old school funk, the seven-piece Brooklyn-based juggernaut Lettuce drops their third studio album Fly on June 5 via Velour Music Group.
On Fly, the pocket is deeper than ever, drawing on a range of styles that can be traced from the early '60s through the early '80s, but set apart by plenty of modern hip-hop sensibilities, including heavy bass, kick and snare pumping in the tracks. Look no further than the album's title cut, though, for how Lettuce has re-imagined the genre. The laid-back vamp, recorded all-analog to two-inch tape, gets full Jamaican studio treatment, dubbed out with vintage reverb and delay. Meanwhile, tracks like "Madison Square" and
"Ziggowatt" (Deitch’s ode to legendary Meters' drummer Zigaboo Modeliste) sound like futuristic cuts from the Stax back catalog. Evans' "Bowler" may be the best evidence of where this supercharged group is headed, with a tasty, stick-in-your-ear melody that continues through the track and begs to be ripped open onstage. The album's one cover song, an all-instrumental version of War's "Slippin’ into Darkness," is a reminder of the genre's vintage origins. Soul vocalist Nigel Hall comes in on the Krasno-penned track, "Do It Like You Do" and Charles "Dawg" Haynes provides added percussion on "Let It GOGO."