CD Review- Disco Biscuits РSe̱or Boombox РMegaforce

If you are one of those people who can’t quite get your head around jam-band music, well my friend, you are not alone. But there is an answer, and they are called the Disco Biscuits. They are a one-part funk, two parts “phatty” hippie patchwork with a dab of electronica for good measure.

This genre-bending band has made a career out of stylistic progression and eccentric experimentation – for better or for worse. One thing the Biscuits won’t be guilty of is playing it safe like countless other jam-bands that have come before them. They have used their jam roots to springboard them into areas of music that many would consider off-limits and outside of the spectrum of their musical beginnings.

“Musically, we do what we’ve always done,” said drummer Sam Altman, “and the jam band label is changing because of that.”

The Disco Biscuits, better known to their legions of fans as “Bisco,” began their musical journey in the mid-90s. Their second album, Uncivilized Area, cemented the band’s status as an up-and-coming musical talent and is arguably one of the best jam albums released in the decade, rivaling even neo-hippie jam masters Phish. And like their aforementioned counterparts, the Biscuits have built a massive following as a result of their brilliant live performances and proficient musical talent.

Now, one year after their third album, They Missed the Perfume – which sounded like a bad accident at the Nintendo’s soundtrack department, circa 1989 – the Biscuits have released an album that epitomizes the cohesion of the plethora of their musical interests – Señor Boombox.

“This album was about the tunes,” said Altman. “I mean, I sat down with a cigarette in my mouth, we had some whiskey and we created something that sounded big.”

Tracks such as “Hope” and “Jigsaw Earth” (the latter was originally off of the band’s first album) depict a solid return to the band’s seemingly fading interest in the carefree world of the jam tune that Bisco churns out with melodic sincerity.

The album has no shortage of experimental tunes. The song “Floodlights” begins with a distorted rap-rant that gives way to a rocking, anthem-like chorus. “Float Like a Butterfly,” on the other hand, is an electronic venture into the depths of trance, infused with Bisco’s jam stylings – they even throw in the obligatory female techno vocal.

There are two songs that depict the worst and best result of the Biscuits’ experimental venture. “Sound One” is a truly terrible track that showcases a horribly out of tune double vocal and is backed by a bad case of getaway funk. Triumph, however, combines electronic meandering with hypnotic guitar progression and an aggressively catchy chorus – it’s as epic as its title suggests, indeed.

The Disco Biscuits, equipped with their newest exploration into experimentation, Señor Boombox, will be performing Oct. 15 at Twilight in Ybor City. And as innovative and interesting as the Biscuits’ albums can be, their live performances are the nucleus that fuels and personifies their creative entirety.

“Our albums and our live shows are two separate things,” said Altman. “Each album is a new musical venture, but we make them so that we can experiment with them live.”

Contact Nick Margiasso at oraclemargiasso@yahoo.com