Uncle Dysfunktional

Studio Album by released in 2007
Uncle Dysfunktional's tracklist:
Jellybean
Angels And Whores
Deviants
Rats With Wings
Cuntry Disco
In The Blood
Anti Warhole On The Dancefloor
Rush Rush
Uncle Dysfunktional
Dr Dick
Weather

Uncle Dysfunktional review

Underground pioneers

About 18 years ago Happy Mondays were something like musical pioneers on British scene. It's not like their funky-guitar–club-beats revelations were extra astonishing but the fact that this band managed to influence the development of indie and club cultures is undeniable. In order to understand the role of Happy Mondays in the global sense a short historical digression is needed. The band was founded in 1986 and swiftly became one of the leaders of Madchester movement, which was characterized by mixing primordial indie rock and dance music. Being a Manchester scene phenomenon this movement has eventually managed to influence future development of British rock and dance music underground. Happy Mondays were frequently associated with club culture and in a way helped to popularize Acid House. Apart from purely musical activities Hapy Mondays were known for their excessive passion for ecstasy, which was reflected in their lyrics, particularly on their most famous album Pills' n' Thrills And Bellyaches. However the band failed to achieve wide recognition and was disbanded in 1992. But despite this the band's leader Shaun Ryder never quitted making music and constantly collaborated in different projects, which eventually brought him to the idea of reforming Happy Mondays. This year he recorded a new album called Uncle Dysfunktional. Of course those who knew the band in their active days would probably take this event skeptically, too many years have passed. But amazingly it turned out to be a pretty decent return. Uncle Dysfunktional sounds capable to stand proud next to rest of Happy Mondays' records.

Happy Monday lay emphasis on disco funk

As the album's deliberatly misspelled title suggests the record should have a good share of funky vibe. In practice this supposition proves to be quite reasonable. The album offers tones of characteristic guitar riffs a la disco funk rock, heavy basslines and a big production sound, which really suits Shaun Ryder's style of vocals. He never was the best singer on this planet but Happy Mondays allways managed to conceal his vocal shortcomings and draw its best parts on the surfaice. However this time arround even smart arrangements can't hide that Shaun's voice is completely withered. It is audible at once yet it doesn't grate on the ears. Stylistically the album is a reminiscent of the band's former works – characteristic drums, samples, vocal effects and general dance atmosphere. And if there is a notable difference - it lies in a heavy emphasis on disco funk. The arrangements are really good and diverse, there hardly is a single song that would contain just a traditional set of instruments - samples, backing vocals and even some brass instruments always perfectly fit in with the context of the songs.

Uncle Dysfunktional evokes mixed feelings

The very first track and the album's main single Jellybean stands as decent start for the album. Lazy beat, deep bass and some wah-wah guitars - sounds fun and pretty attractive. The song marks the way the rest of the album sounds but still as it was said earlier the album's material is pretty diverse. Angels & Whores for instance drops some more expressive guitar riffs, lots of backing vocals and relaxing keyboards. However its not like Uncle Dysfunktional includes solely positive moods, it has its dark side too. Songs like Anti Warhole On The Dancefloor or Country Disco sound pretty eerie and cold. This feeling comes from the overall sound of the album – a little bit dirty and raw plus different additional noises and effects, thus even frankly dance songs contain some depressive elements from time to time. You may try In The Blood or Rats With Wings to figure this out. Overall Uncle Disfunktional evokes mixed feelings: the album is not an innovating record and it will hardly bring Happy Monday big success but on the other hand it does absorb your attention. It sounds pretty considered but at the same time it evokes a sense of messy chaos. The material stands pretty close to the standards of popular music but in reality the album is completely non-commercial. In a word, Uncle Dysfunktional is an album fro those who love this kind of music and if you are familiar with other records of Happy Mondays it will suit you just fine.

(12.07.2007)
Rate review3.33
Total votes - 6


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