When a band calls its sound ‘Montana-grown electro thunder funk,’ you pretty much have to pay attention. When that group’s name is Cure for the Common, you know you’d better buckle up – even don a helmet along with headphones – since you’re about to jettison the mundane and blast off into galaxies of funk that weave through digital constellations and segue seamlessly into soulful dance grooves.
Cure, composed of Garrett Rhinard (vocals, keys, synth), Steve Brown (vocals, percussion), Matt Rogers (guitar), Weston Lewis (guitar, vocals), Jordan Rodenbiker (bass, vocals), Joe Sheehan (drums, vocals), and Frank Douglas (lights, vocals), has been thrilling the Bozeman-area with live performances since 2008. They released their third CD, The Squeeze, in April at Faultline North, Bozeman’s new 400-plus capacity music venue. Boasting a Meyer sound system, the space feels, as one partygoer put it, “like a minimalist agra-scale version of the Fillmore West.”
The Squeeze takes off with “Get Some,” the band’s signature horn section introducing a big band sound that alternates with a reggae rhythm, carrying Steve Brown’s socially conscious lyrics. Those horns cut through ambient guitar on “Gas Can,” a rap-like anthem that continues the social dialogue. The instrumental “Digital Blackout” features a long guitar intro, easing into electronic themes with beats and synths. The 80s rock solos really top this song off with a stadium-quality finale.
“Let’s Ride” adds Santana-like Latin seasoning to the mix. The horns are again an arresting focus, courtesy of guest Jon Gauer. With a chill, contemplative intro, the exploratory guitar sounds on “Como I” are out of this world. Tully Olson’s horn arrangement beautifully balances vocals, instrumentation and backbeat. We’re let down slowly with piano and electric guitar.
Up-tempo, the title song opens with keys, immediately backed by horns; the intertwining riffs hit on many themes and moods – genre-blending at its best! With a piano intro, “Bizarre the Days” features electronic themes as the atmosphere opens up in preparation for this big band track.
Many more songs here, which meld instrumental soundscapes, infectious grooves and layered improvisational synergy.
Digitally download on BandCamp, or grab the CD from the online store at cftcband.com. Either way, be sure you get some of this band’s positive energy!
– Cynthia Logan