STEEZ – All Systems Bro EP

CD Reviews 10 Aug 2006

SteezSTEEZ – All Systems Bro EP

(2006   Self-Release)

Steez has to be the only jam band in the world to incorporate an oboe into their sound.  Add to that the use of accordion, sax, fiddle and turntables and you’ve got a recipe for a completely unique sound.  Andrzej Benkowski is Steez’s secret weapon, playing all the odd instruments while the rhythm section of bassist Chris Mell and drummer Drew Brzezinski hold down the fort.  This jam is smooth as apple butter and thoroughly tasty, guaranteed to please your sweet tooth.

Steve Neary’s vocals are reminiscent of Ray Davies and his manic delivery gives Steez’s music a fresh, relevant twist on the EP’s opener “I Like Your Bangs,” a sensational piece of art rock that brings out the oboe for some headbangin’.  Neary is also the band’s guitarist and he turns in some pretty funky vamping, making the archaic reverb he uses on “Comin’ In Hot”” sound like the new hip sound.  An instrumental piece, this track highlights Neary’s improvisational skills as the middle section gets the fiddle going.  Employing a soundbite of Bill Cosby talking to kids about cocaine, “Dollars R’ent Free” is one funky slice with keyboard wiz Matt Williams taking center stage while Jerad Burk’s turntables accentuate the groove.  Using another soundbite from Jim Morrison on “The Heat is On,” Steez establishes a cool, funky groove once again, then spaces out in the middle section before returning for a lengthy reprise, all with a bubbling undercurrent of electronic sounds from the synthesizers. 

Steez is the future sound of jam rock, incorporating urban elements and funk, resulting in a refreshingly enjoyable listening experience.  All systems are go for Steez and a full-length album would be sweet, indeed.

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About the author

Rick Tvedt

Rick is publisher of Local Sounds Magazine, formerly Rick's Cafe, Wisconsin's Regional Music Newspaper. He is also the Executive Director for MAMA, Inc., a non-profit organization that produces the Madison Area Music Awards and raises funds to promote youth music programs.

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