The Inciters

Doin' Fine

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This is easy to get into. This 11-piece San Francisco group, including two saxes, a trombone, and four singers (three female) opened for the Commitments on that movie band's gigs out west, but they're much more modern, less obvious, and louder than that. They're more like the Redskins without the fiery socialism (kudos for the cover of "Lean on Me"), the Untouchables, the Undertones' Positive Touch, and the Saints' overlooked Prehistoric Sounds, only with a more classical Stax/Volt/Atlantic/Motown bearing and double the amount of covers. We're talking boss Northern soul, with the most obscure tunes a sharp-eyed collector could assemble, and originals cut from the a same magic cloth. This is a bunch astute enough to pump out earnest, hyper-enthusiastic versions of songs by Mary Love, Melba Moore (a sublime "Magic Touch," first done by Bobby Patterson), Nancy Wilson, Brenda Holloway, James Lewis, Freddie North (the LP stand-out "The Hurt"), and Honey & Bees. The rat-a-tat/gasping horns are wonderful, the beat unstoppable, the riffs raving, and the lead male vocal is thick and emotional, one-third Paul Weller and two-thirds Midnight Oil's Peter Garrett. Oddly, the Inciters are a mostly white group, but in the best compliment, they sound like an authentic '60s black soul ensemble from Memphis, Birmingham, or Detroit, with gumption and danceable exaltations. And you just knew they were sharp dressers, didn't you? (P.O. Box 13189, Chicago, IL 60613)

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