Enemy Squad-United State Of...Mind
Detroiters have every right to puff up their chests and be proud of our fair city's contribution to the music universe. Whether your tastes run to rock, R&B, gospel, Blues or soul we've provided as much or more talent anywhere else in the U.S.A. Continuing the tradition is Enemy Squad. E-Squad is a diamond hard funk band in the mold of George Clinton / Parliament /Funkadelic / P-Funk All Stars. As a matter of fact some of E-Squad's players and singers are previous or current employees of Clinton's groups. If you're a fan of acid funk then United State of Mind is a must have. All the components are in place: grooves deep enough to cut it, bass in your face, acid and wah-wah drenched guitar solos and those oh-so-soulful vocals that make you wana go to testifying. Lets us not forget the whole thing is delivered with as much tounge-in-cheek as it is fist-to-the-jaw.
Things get started with "Welcome To the Millennium," as instrumental that's a groove oriented rock piece. On "Return of the Swamp Thing" the funk gates open wide. "Swamp Thing" is an example of how funk should be played, almost too slow to dance to but just the right speed to nod your head and pump your fist. A nice guitar solo is provided by either Duminie DePorres, Ron Smith, Maurice Herd or Blackbyrd McKnight.
Next up is "Trick Chick Jane" a slice of rockin' funk where lyrics command as much attention as the expert backing tracks. Again this track features some rump pumping meltdown guitar work. Soulful crooning provided by either Undisco Kidd (Gabe Gonzalez), Dan "Blackman" Harris, or Michael "Clip" Payne. The Liner notes aren't real specific but boasts a vocal army as well as a guitar army. These fellas want to make music, not war. "Anti-Prozac Baby" is a paced vehicle that may give insight into what life without Prozac could be like. Drummer Gabe Gonzalez and one of the bassists either Joe Heyden, Dwight Braxton, K.C. or Mike McLeod provide the rhythmic bed for more soulful vocals and guitar freakouts to shine through.
I really dig "Love War (Interlude)" a funk rock instrumental that although it's the springboard for guitar and keyboard solos is more than a mere excuse to solo. It's actually very restrained. "United State of ... Mind" puts everything back on the one, a nice slinky piece of funk. "We're On $um other Shit" has so much funky swagger you half expect it to jump out of your CD player and strut around the room itself. A funny slice of funk that's no joke.
"Prankster Boogie" is an example of trippy, beautiful funk. What funk album would be complete without a party anthem? E-squad serves up "If It Fits (Do You Swear It?)." Bouncy funk extols the virtues of bodies, booty, parties and of course funk. A party anthem? Oh, yeah. "Sticky Liquid Funk" is precisely that as it oozes out your speakers. It also features an all too brief guitar solo.
"Jupiter" is aptly titled as it's a spacey, trippy tune. It's more about atmosphere and mood than dancing. This is grooving of a totally different kind. Sit back and enjoy the ride. The albums closer is "Flip the Script (Reprise)." A short bouant piece that's basically an instrumental except for a repeated chant that shows off the jazzy side of funk complete with bleating horns.
This album is a must own as it's a showcase of immense talent assembled in the band. It also shows off their versatility as serves and notice that funk, even when absorbing rock and roll, jazz psychedelia and a sense of humor always remains funky. In addition, these guys are from here, you might even work with one of them. I know I did. I worked with background vocal violator Ben Beverly at Harmony House a few years ago but that's not the only reason why I like this band. Hear why for yourself.
United State of Mind by Enemy Squad
United State Of... Mind
1.Welcome To The Millennium
2.Return Of The Swamp Thang ~ListenNow
3.Trick Chick Jane ~ListenNow
5.Yeah,The World Is On Drugz ~ListenNow
7.United States Of...Mind
8.We're On Sum Other Shit
10.If It Fits(Do You Swear It?)
11.Sticky Liquid Funk
13.Flip The Script(Reprise)