Phat Fred

Don't Spoil the Soup

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Spanish retro-funk groove merchants Phat Fred are a bit of a puzzlement: although their sound is proudly, blatantly derivative, the quartet bite from so many different sources that they end up sounding more unique than they perhaps intended. On the vocal tracks, the sound is as unapologetically white and beat-oriented as Steve Marriott in the early Small Faces days, but musically, the primary influences seem to be '70s soul-jazz outfits like the Blackbyrds and, oddly, the brittle, jerky Brit-funk of early-'80s outfits like Pigbag and A Certain Ratio (especially on the hyper "Home Sweet Home"). As a result, Don't Spoil the Soup ends up being a pretty oddball blend of sounds that don't fit neatly into any particular or easy retro bandwagon. The combination of a solid Hammond organist and a funky chicken-scratch guitar player is always welcome, however, so Phat Fred deliver on that score, at least.

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