All Mighty Senators

Music Is Big Business

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As a biracial funk-rock-soul group with horns, Baltimore's All Mighty Senators beg comparison with Sly & the Family Stone. But their sound also incorporates Beastie Boys-style rap, Red Hot Chili Peppers punk, and Curtis Mayfield-inspired R&B. This not only adds depth, but also expands the quartet's playing field. While the eclectic approach makes for some abrupt mood swings, the group, led by sharp-dressed singer/drummer Landis Expandis, never seems scattershot. There is a substantial Fishbone smell to much of this, but the AMS don't stay locked in one groove long enough to invite comparisons. Kicking off with the hip-hop-heavy singalong "Soul," the horns blare and the beat thumps boisterously. Energy and enthusiasm charge through these tracks, even when the band lays into a Medeski, Martin & Wood keyboard groove on the title track. Chrissie Hynde probably had them open for a Pretenders tour based on the back-to-nature, anti-fast-food, and vegetarian sentiments of "Mother Nature's Afro," but it's just as likely she was caught up in their contagious party vibe. Whether singing retro-'70s Impressions-style soul on "Booty Fresh" or tearing into the rap-heavy "Kung Foo Masters," this is an album that will enliven any gathering. Fun, frisky, and unpredictable, the All Mighty Senators play music for the fun of it, paying tribute to their many influences yet never taking themselves too seriously.

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