BBQ / Mark Sultan

BBQ - Mark Sultan

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Before Mark Sultan began teaming up with King Khan or started working in the studio with other musicians, he cut a few rowdy one-man-band albums as BBQ, with Sultan singing, playing guitar, and stomping out a beat all at once. Sultan takes a stroll down memory lane with BBQ - Mark Sultan, in which he holed up with a four-track recording rig and bashed out a dozen tunes (each a first take) the same way he did on Tie Your Noose in 2005. As a vocalist, Sultan has learned a few tricks and his approach is a bit more refined than it was back in the day, but in terms of the songs and his elemental instrumental attack, this could have been recorded a decade earlier, which isn't in itself a bad thing. Sultan's guitar work is simple but forceful and big on energy, while his percussion footwork gets the job done. But this doesn't sound quite as fresh as Tie Your Noose, and it rarely feels as inspired and electric as the discs where Sultan first worked out this technique. (And it sure wouldn't have hurt if he had pushed his vocals up in the mix, since they often feel like they're being swallowed up by the drums.) But if this isn't just as good as the party he threw in 2005, BBQ - Mark Sultan is still plenty of low-frills fun, and the proof is here that Sultan can still move a crowd all by himself.

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