Fondue Party


Color Red Records, 2020

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


A Seattle eight-piece that has already released six albums, Polyrhythmics offers a concept record on this five song EP. The band explores their downtempo, laid-back tendencies, with plenty of dub influence entering the equation.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The quick listen starts with the title track, where spirited and hypnotic guitar work from Ben Bloom works well alongside Arthur Brown's dreamy flute in an exceptional two minutes. “Cosimo” follows and recruits very playful percussion by Karl Olson as rhythm and groove are not in short supply. Later in the tune, Brown's soulful and vibrant tenor sax appears, giving the song more avenues of enjoyment.

The middle track “Cracked Pepper” is among the best, where brass, guitars, and Grant Schroff's drums work together with both a hazy and rhythmic feel that also seems like it could soundtrack a late-night drive through the desert.

The longest track is “Zion”, which, across seven minutes, illustrates much diversity that makes the most out of Nathan Spicer's keyboard prowess. A song with psyche rock friendly ambience that floats around R. Scott Morning's strategic trumpet, it unfolds in a way that might suit a sci-fi movie.

“Fondeux” is the last track and the one that's most obviously indebted to dub ideas as the exit retains plenty of reggae spirit, especially in  the grooves that are fleshed out with much precision.

A release that also coincides with their 10 year anniversary, for the longtime fans, Fondue Party provides a diversion from their usual psychedelic funk avenue for a much calmer adventure that could, of course, provide the backdrop for an actual fondue party during these times we often stay at home.

And for first time listeners like myself, the strong songwriting and undeniable chemistry that Polyrhythmics possess will certainly have me exploring their previous work, too.

Rating: B

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