1000 Albums Project

ALBUM 100

Groove Family Cyco, by Infectious Grooves
Suggested by Noli-Rose Nikitaki

For my one hundredth album in this project, I’m charmed by the fact that I’m revisiting some old friends.

Infectious Grooves are a known factor to me. Their debut album is one of my all-time teenage favourites: The Plague That Makes Your Booty Move… it’s the Infectious Grooves. It blends punk, metal, funky-ass smooth beats and high comedy into an eclectic mix that an eighteen-year-old Craig lapped up like a saucer of milk.

Their second album, Sarsippius Arc, tried hard to recapture the fine brew of their debut, with limited success. The funk wasn’t quite as funky, the punk wasn’t quite as punky, and the humour was swing-and-a-miss. Groove Family Cyco, their third offering, passed me by completely. Once bitten twice shy, and all that jazz.

It starts of well. Violent and Funky brings every aspect of the mix into play, with some inspired bass work (from now-Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo) and some goofy, fun lytics. There’s still a metal edge, sure, with crunching guitar, and the punky vocals you’d expect from a wheezy and downplayed Mike Muir (of Suicidal Tendencies fame), but the mix is just how I’d like it: heavy on the funk.

Sadly for me, but not necessarily you, the majority of the album is heavier on the metal. And if I want plain heavy metal, I’ve thousands of places to find it,

Songs like Boom Boom Boom, which are a single Boom away from chanelling Baldrick or the Vengaboys, are straight up punky thrash, with disconcerting changes of timbre and tempo that leave me wanting. Seriously, I thing I’d have preferred a cover of Boom Boom Boom by the Outhere Brothers. And both Die Like A Pig and Do What I Tell Ya are straight up rock, which seems to backseat what I feel is the band’s USP.

Another thing that’s lacking is the irreverence and humour that underpinned TPTMYBM…ITIG. That album had marvellous spoken asides from a lizard caricature called Sarsippius, which I still find myself quoting today. On the face of it they are juvenile, and on the second album Sarsippius Ark they were downright annoying. I don’t know what the solution is to this conundrum, but whatever it is, Groove Family Cyco is not it.

It’s not all cat-turds in the cabbages, mind. The album’s title track and my personal favourite, Groove Family Cyco, is another return to funky form, and the quietly disturbing Cousin Randy is reminiscent of the strong storytime songs by Primus or Zappa. But these shining stars do little to illuminate a foggy night sky.

I give this album 5/10. Like with all family reunions, sometimes they are necessary to remind you just how far you’ve moved on. At least there’s the memory of their debut album to keep Infectious Grooves out of my personal Where Are They Now pile.

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