Ikebe Shakedown is a New York-based instrumental funk band, who are known for their dance-inducing grooves. Each song on their new album The Way Home tells it’s own story of living in a city of relentless pace and fervent activity. While the band’s influences of jazz and funk may be familiar, their own formula for addictive instrumental compositions is unique and evocative. The 12 tracks which comprise The Way Home each have their own pace which set the listener in motion through the Big Apple in their minds. Of course, if you find yourself in the City That Never Sleeps, make sure you’ve got this album to hand.
Step out the door and into the urban jungle on ‘Supermoon’ with its busy percussion accompanied by a smooth brass section and a reverberating guitar positioned to the right. I don’t always enjoy instruments panned wholly to one side (listening to Hendrix on headphones can be irritating), but in this case, it works well. The band described their opening number as “A tune that expresses all the energy and excitement we feel moving through the city.”
The Way Home takes a formulaic route through the city streets.
With each song, you turn a different corner through the vast metropolis. However, as I listen through ‘Brushfire’, ‘Out Of The Shadows’ and then onto ‘The Ally’ the roles of the percussion and guitar become predictable. Only the brass really adds any significant variation. This is why it’s nice to hear the bass take the lead on the slower ‘She’s Knocking’ and for the guitar to become momentarily more melodic on ‘Penny The Snitch’.
Overall, The Way Home takes a formulaic route through the city streets, with little to categorically identify one track apart from the other. It may be a consistent record of undeniable talent and quality, but the band seem to be stuck in the same jam.
Addictive funk groove
Evocative of NYC
Becomes a bit repetitive after a while
|2. Blue Giant|
|3. The Next 24|
|4. She’s Knocking|
|7. Penny The Snitch|
|8. Out Of The Shadows|
|9. The Ally|
|10. Shifting Sands|
|11. Five For Five|
|12. Where The Day Breaks|