T Bird & the Breaks

Never Get Out of This Funk Alive

Texas Platters

T Bird & the Breaks

Never Get Out of This Funk Alive

Tim Crane and crew have grown exponentially since 2009's Learn About It. Where they previously leaned heavily on blue-eyed soul with positive results, Never Get Out of This Funk Alive finds them venturing into hip-hop, New Orleans-style jams, and even studio and turntable experiments ("The Apocalypse Will Not Be Televised"). At times Crane, aka T Bird, revels in being white and funky, whether recalling the shrewd beats and goofiness of the Beastie Boys with "Fuck It Up" or visiting 1970s roller disco on the title track. A childish adventurousness fuses the schoolyard lyrics of Shirley Ellis' "The Clapping Song" to Tom Waits' "Clap Hands." With pumped-up horns, set closer "Monkey in a Tree" swings as close to straight-ahead soul as the Breaks get this time out. With daring musicality and lo-fi rhythms, this is a band that continues to surprise and satisfy.

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