It’s 2002; and standing on the verge at the vertex of the next wave of this festive celebration of wide-open jam, rhythm and groove we collectively call funk/rock are the Trump Dawgs. Formed in Kansas City in late 2000 & Brought To By Parliament-Funkadelics BOOGIE MOSSON , the group describes its sound as a mission to ‘keep it real with music that conveys all that is funky, all that it heavy, and all that is beautiful’. But talk is cheap, unless you back it up. And if “The Art of Crushin’” is any indication, this taut 5-man invasion force goes way beyond the call of booty to unleash a wicked mélange of gritty funk gumbo, urban sensibilities, country-fried harmonic, sonic string masterstroking and revolutionary percussive expressions. All bent upon tearing the roof off the sucker with melodies just as ecstatic and blissful, earthy and airy, as they are wickedly thick and meaty. Indeed, let the demolition begin.

Although the band’s influences are many, this is a cd of some brand new funk. Kenny Carter (vocals, guitar, keys, farfisa organ) kicks off into the set on “Cold Day” with all of the vocal energy and cadence of Michael Jackson circa the “Destiny/Shake You Body Down” days. Take a long toke of this musical potpourri and enter a netherworld full of Anthony Case’s super-elastic Bootsy-inspired bass earthquake exploits on tracks like ‘5:11’ and ‘Locomotion’. The band simply goes for broke from the onset. ‘The Last Straw’ begins with a slowed down vocal track, ala Prince’s ‘Temptation’ or Funkadelic’s ‘Red Hot Momma’. In fact, Carter’s vocals often come off as spacey, wiry, spooky, spell-binding and bone tingling on tracks like ‘Locomotion’ and ‘Whisper’, where the groove melts down into a country swagger of improvisational guitar chords. Lester Estelle (drums, musical face breaking) and Donald Carter (percussion, background vocals, front line mc) engorge you into an ultra-rhythmic, percussive segue into track #5, ‘Wishing Well’. The guitar-powered groove again seduces you into a high-end sonic overload. The track then seems to deliquesce into a tonal soup of chicken-scratch guitar twanging and bass vamping.

With all of the current music industry BS and fluff gasping at an all time apex, it is more than refreshing to see a group unafraid to wave its freak flag so high!!! They literally crank up a jam called ‘Ching-a-Ling’ only to count off into a sub-bottom bass workout and snap, pop drumming of ‘Castle Bounce’ where you can “dance till the sun has lost its shine, romance right into these arms of mine”. Like ‘New Song#2’, where the outlandish guitar dexterities enhances upon Carter’s sprightingly delivered vocal chops, the jam closes with a splattering of Santana-like axe harmonizing.

The tragedy of life is not that we die too soon, but we wait so long to start living. Never have I heard grooves so gratifying, fulfilled and just plain joyous, yet so rugged and rigorous as these. The band, rounded out by Luke Sullivan (guitar, f/x, catch phrases) and the cuttin’ and scratchin’ of ‘wax archivist’ David Kelly, closes out the set with an extensive jam session over ‘Lullaby’. This may be one of my faves off the set, more stringy, and stretched guitar soloing of layered chords over a lightheartedly cool groove. Wait; what’s this, there seems to be a bonus track on here not listed on the liner notes. Whoa, another one of Case’s mutron-laced soirees. Guitars starting to get wah-wah wicked again and you’re invited to this ghetto picnic for a sample of some tasty Trump Dawg grub.

Reviewed For Journalist&Atlanta Radio Personality~"Bustin'"Bob Mitchell

1.COLD DAY~ListenNow
8.NEW SONG #2~ListenNow
10.LAM JAM~ListenNow
13.**BONUS TRACK~ListenNow

PRODUCED BY : Kenny Carter & T. D

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