A combo with horns led by a harmonica player, the Rhythm Junks are a stylistic link not only to soulful jam bands such as War but the entire funky jazz trip, the arrangements on Virus B-23 bringing to mind cooking sides by artists such as Blue Mitchell or the Crusaders. There are a number of other groups called the Rhythm Junkies, the difference in implication with the Rhythm Junks basically nonexistent since the term "junks" is interchangeable with "junkie" in the lowlands. While not a mesmerizing vocalist, harmonica maestro Steven DeBruyn knows lots of ways of presenting his singing with ear-tingling effects in the mix, in the process also adding shades of interest to tracks which need just that due to the rhythm section's single-mindedness. DeBruyn's harmonica chops are an asset as well; his use of electronics can at times approach the majesty of trumpeter Toshinori Kondo knee deep in his own pile of wires, then inhaling large amounts of helium. Drummer Tony Gyselinck leaps out of the mix for a superb solo on "Saco Saco." Three trumpeters provide not only aggression but nice melodic moments. The concluding "Salut Monique," with quite a typical romantic chromatic harmonica sound, provides a satisfying final track, complete with horn voicings as rich as the artisan chocolate sold all over this combo's hometown of Brussels.
Virus B-23 Review
by Eugene Chadbourne