Sinuous grooves and heated horns come hand-in-hand with Staten Island’s Budos Band, as their many fans — Madonna, Iggy Pop, and the Wu-Tang Clan among them — know well. The eight-piece group has spent the last 15 years making instrumental music that defies easy comparison, mixing retro organs with arcs of brass, deadly strings, and stark percussion. Their style falls somewhere between 1960s spy thriller soundtrack and 1970s Ethiojazz, and yet is continuously cutting-edge, a signature sound unlike any other.
The new track, “The Wrangler”, exemplifies that. Out ahead of album Long in the Tooth, coming out 9 October on Daptone Records, it’s as urgent a tune as the band has ever given us. “When we set out to record this album, we didn’t know we would be releasing it during such a dark and ominous period in our history,” the band notes. “‘The Wrangler’ emanates the grand perception of apocalypse we are currently experiencing.”
The atmosphere of Armageddon is strong from the start. Percussionists Brian Profilio and Rob Lombardo rattle and strike again and again (“tough enough to break your knees,” the band says, and it; Tom Brenneck on guitar and Daniel Foder slither in sinister unison. They clear a tremendous path for the horn section: Andrew Greene and Dave Guy on trumpets and Jared Tankel on sax, bringing the whole piece to a fever pitch and ultimately reaching perilous heights alongside Mike Deller, whose organ escalates from an eerie tremble to a final resonant echo that lingers after the rest of the band has played their final, frenzied notes.
“The Wrangler” swirls with wordless energy, the kind the band hopes will spur their audiences to action even as the hegemonies try to make them back down. Along these lines, the band has a straightforward mission for their music and their fans: “The Budos want this track and the rest of
Long in the Tooth to inspire people to reclaim their power,” says the group, “and to vote!”
Long in the Tooth comes out 9 October on Daptone Records and is now available for pre-order.