Album Reviews: Medicine Man - The Bamboos

The Bamboos latest album, their seventh studio release, takes off where the last one, 4 left off... If you have heard the Melbourne group's other material there aren't any massive surprises here - Medicine Man is another collection of seventies inspired funk songs.

Of course it coming from the Tru Thoughts stable the whole thing smacks of quality. A collection of seventies inspired funk songs this may be, but it's never anything less than fab. The laid back opener 'Where Does The Time Go, featuring Aloe Blacc, is a middle-aged record of disorientation and the first single. It's a fitting intro and it highlights The Bamboos' strength - sophisticated playing and an understated touch that means these songs come forward exactly when they need to and only just as much as is ever required.

There are grittier blues funk numbers like 'What I Know', with just enough spit and sawdust on the vocal to make the whole thing shine when Kylie Auldist's voice really breaks free. Daniel Merriweather features amongst the stuttering drums and deep bass of 'I Never', whilst 'I Got Burned' is packed with bluesy guitar melody, brass, strings and a damaged male falsetto from Tim Rogers.

A cover version of James Blake's 'The Wilhelm Scream' is something of a revelation, coming just three tracks in and proving to be not only a credit to the band but also Blake's songwriting. Free of the latter's clicks and rumbling bass it stands up, the strings and gentle guitar licks a fine substitute as the record builds to its conclusion.

It would be hard not to love the Bamboos. This is well played funk and soul that is just crying out for some rotation on your barbecue playlist this summer.

Medicine Man is released via Tru Thoughts on Monday, available for pre-order from on CD, LP and MP3 [affiliate links].

Stream Medicine Man on Spotify below [account required]: