I reviewed a release by No BS! Brass Band a few years back and it was a fun little album. Whatever revelatory qualities the ensemble lacked in their songs they made up for with good times. With the release of the aggressively-titled Brass Knuckles, a large political shadow has fallen over the party thanks to a string of stories in recent American news related to police brutality. No BS! Brass are not taking it lying down, not by a long shot. Galvinized by vocal delivery of three members, drummer Lance Hoehler, trombonist Bryan Hooten, and trumpeter Marcus Tenney, Brass Knuckles bursts forth with the ying-yang struggles of modern urban life; We’re Very Pissed vs. We Desperately Need Peace.
This doesn’t mean that the band stuck their groove into the ground in favor of political activism. The funky beats have instead turned from cool and fun to hot and volatile. Try your best to not bounce your heals along with the band as they chant “we ain’t tolerating no tyrants” and you’ll get the idea. It’s a whole new kind of BS absence.