The members of Psychedelic Breakfast may not hail from one of the musical capitals of the world, but you would never know it from listening to their music. These four guys from East Haven incorporate elements of funk, rock, jazz and reggae into their sound, citing influences as varied as Frank Zappa and the Moody Blues.
Deuce, the band’s second album, is pure fun. Psychedelic Breakfast delivers an energy-packed release, filled with funk-infused jams and experimental compositions. Guitarist Tim Palmieri, bassist Ron Spears, keyboardist Jordan Giangreco and drummer Adrian Tramontano combine to create songs that are both lively and technically superb. At times the album is a little rough around the edges, but Deuce is still one of the most exciting releases by a young band this year.
The album starts out with the 13-minute marathon track “Tribal Funk Affliction,” which features both intense jams and calmer, more melodic interludes. Psychedelic Breakfast displays a gift for creating playful, spirited tunes that combine elements of funk, jazz and rock ‘n’ roll. The song begins and ends with an upbeat theme that is completely addictive and elates the listener. Palmieri delivers a phenomenal guitar solo in the middle of the song, exhibiting that both his technical and artistic prowess far surpass his age (23). “Tribal Funk Addiction’s” primary fault is that it lacks coherence; nothing propels the song forward or unites the various parts. While Psychedelic Breakfast executes each individual section superbly, it fails to bind them together and to create a mature, polished song.
Deuce continues with a series of original and enjoyable tracks. “Question Mark and the Mind” is a beautiful tune, reminiscent of Phish’s best acoustic moments. Tim Palmieri’s soothing vocals calm the listener as he proclaims his heartfelt love for fusion. “Beef Barley,” a good-natured, funky song, will have you dancing in your dorm room. Only “Phaddy Boom Baddy” really doesn’t succeed. This reggae-style song, with weak vocals and uninspired jams, lacks complexity and maturity.
Deuce only gets better with time and the last tracks of the album are the best. In “Buquebus,” Psychedelic Breakfast proves that they really can handle a 13-minute song, avoiding the earlier flaws of “Tribal Funk Affliction.” Tramontano’s magnificent drumming unifies the song, providing it with an intense and enjoyable groove. Palmieri offers another mesmerizing solo, displaying once again his for capacity for original and first-class guitar work. Spacey effects add to the playfulness of the track, as do the lively and varied vocals.
The record finishes off with two more strong tracks: the fusion heavy “What The Funk” and the multifaceted “Mooboo ‘s Voodoo (Episode 2).” Both these songs contain high-quality jam sequences, with all four members of Psychedelic Breakfast demonstrating their remarkable skill.
On Deuce, Psychedelic Breakfast proves that they like to take risks and push edges. Their energetic and youthful fusion of rock and funk is irresistible and never ceases to surprise the listener. Deuce has a few moments of immaturity, but the spirit and skill of the band make up for any shortcomings. If you like jam bands, try not to miss this one.