Chris Dave and The Drumhedz - Chris Dave and The Drumhedz

Chris Dave and The Drumhedz
Chris Dave and The Drumhedz

Isn't there something fantastic about hearing something new and totally unexpected? That's the vibe when you put on this debut record from drummer Chris Dave. Chris for the first time plats the roll of band leader with different singers and other musicians coming in and out as He lays the musical groundwork. It would be pretty easy to call this music soul or R&B, but that would be greatly diminishing the accomplishments here. There is a fusion of the psychedelic, jazz and R&B in a way that you just don't often hear. Anderson .paak, who features here, could be called a pioneer in this form of music, but Chris Dave takes it even further allowing for a full fledged musical expression. The sounds are so rich and the albums first proper song "Universal Language" is totally wild in it's diversity. There is not one singer, not even one constant throughout the song making it feel far more like jazz than pop, and it just spills into the next track without regard for time or space. This record feels like a big band evolution, big bright sounds infused with a psychedelic bend for 2018. "Black Hole" with Anderson .paak as the lead vocalist somehow manages to make even Anderson shrink within this big bold sound. As a rule jazz usually bothers the shit out of me, it's to frantic and disjointed but here on Chris Dave and The Drumhedz it has so much structure and purpose that it actually really fucking works. This record feels like all out expression, letting the music take them where it may rather than forcing a single thing.

When things slow down like on "Spread Her Wings" featuring Bilal and Tweet on the vocals it doesn't fall into a typical love song, but creates this diverse and varied menagerie of sounds for the beautiful female vocal to surpass it all. As a big fan of the neo-soul movement in the late 90s and early 2000s this feels like a natural and bolder extension of that sound. However instead of being grounded in the past this record alludes to the past while still pushing a new sound forward. Stokley Williams does his best Andre 3000 impression on "Cosmic Intercourse" which is a little to on the nose for it's own good. It's the first time you feel like the gimmick has been pushed too far and that subtle touch is absent, including the sermon style spoken word outro about selling some sweatshirts. At just under an hour there are some times where it feels like the record is sort of meandering especially in the later half, but it serves the purpose of showing just how willing Chris Dave is to go out there and try something. For a debut record this album is varied and experimental shucking all notions of playing it safe, and because of that it really soars. Don't sleep.

8.2 out of 10


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