Reviewed by Margaret Moser, Fri., Jan. 24, 2014
Brassy originals pop and punch with the veteran musicianship of Extreme Heat on Soulstice. Armed with a double shot of vocals via lanky, longtime vocalist Bruce Spelman ("Voices") and bassist Mike Roeder ("Survivor"), Austin's Eighties-vintage band of Texas-style funkateers layers chunky guitars from Mike Barnes and Mac McNabb ("You're Gonna Want Me") between Neil Pederson's keyboard muscle ("Always Available") and the smoky percussion of Eddie Cantu and James Fenner ("The Positive"). Add a sinewy drumline of Cantu, Frosty Smith, and Michael Hale, plus a host of horns including Mike Mordecai and John Mills ("G-Force"), and Soulstice clocks Extreme Heat somewhere southwest of Booker T & the MGs and James Brown's Famous Flames ("Put Some Weight on It," "Red Carpet"). With nine tight tracks from a band that carries its decades of musical weight without breaking a sweat, there's not a wasted beat here.