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Brownout

Oozy (Nat Geo Music)

Reviewed by Austin Powell, Fri., May 18, 2012

Phases & Stages

Brownout

Oozy (Nat Geo Music)

Side projects live in danger of becoming a dumping ground for unfinished and tangential ideas. Brownout has masterfully averted the pitfall thus far, dishing out after-hours funk that perfectly counters Grupo Fantasma's big-band fervor. The local octet's 2007 debut, Homenaje, hit like a Texas heat wave, stretching sweaty Latin instrumentals for miles, while 2009's retro-futuristic Aguilas and Cobras delved deep into Chicano soul. With Oozy, Brownout remains in endless pursuit of the groove, but never quite settles into one. Highlights include Dan Dyer lending Gulf Coast soul to the hazy "Stormy Weather," bassist Greg Gonzalez's "JPT" scoring a warped spaghetti Western more interesting than Danger Mouse's Rome, and the space rock expanse of "I Won't Lie." The through line remains guitarist Beto Martinez, a superfreak composer who always coaxes out Brownout's kinkiest qualities. Just check the gritty swagger and fuzzy twin leads in opener "Flaximus" or the title track, a blaxploitation romp with Hot Buttered Soul and low-rider swagger.

**.5

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