InCulto: Closer Than You Think Review
Having heard the band perform three of the songs from their album in my living room before I heard the recorded version, I wasn’t sure if they would be able to transform the energy to record.
The Lithuanian based band kick off ‘Closer Than You Think’ with ‘Something’, a fifties vibed mid tempo track with memorable hooks and a nice brass section, which we don’t hear enough of in music. The tempo is taken up a notch with ‘Sabroso’, in your face funk! It’s latin vibes really just want to make you dance. Great rhythm section with a deceiving good bass line and break neck speed vocal lines.
‘Closer thank You Think’ is not the kind of album I was expecting to like, but good production values and irresistible dance grooves have converted me. Recent single ‘Close to Midnight’ could be a hit anywhere, (my favourite from my living room session). It’s ‘One step Beyond’ topped up on Funk! Somehow InCulto have managed to incorporate different influences, genres, mix them up together and still sound good. Dirty synth sounds can be heard and seem totally in place with brass lines and ska grooves.
‘If Life Were a Story’ is a more lyric driven track, with a soul feel but that doesn’t stop InCulto making it danceable. From this album it seems that what they want to do is make people dance and this is a perfect party album. Clever effects and production transform ‘If Not Me’ from a old 78 vinyl sound to a modern ska track. It has a nice break down in the middle and builds back up from a acoustic guitar to a dance track with pumping bass before returning to its original ska.
InCulto’s Eurovision 2010 entry is included on the album. ‘Eastern European Funk’. It’s a name that probably describes the band precisely. Starting off with a human beatbox style rhythm the track shows quite a resilience from the Lithuanian band with lyrics like ‘Survived the reds and two world wars’, you have to admire their ‘Who Care’s?’ attitude. Again the band invite you to ‘Get up and Dance’ which is physically impossible not to if this is on. A techno dance beat is introduced and it is at this point I really come to appreciate the freedom the Inculto have. They play what they want, don’t class themselves under any genre and come out smiling.
Rock influences can be heard in ‘Still Waiting’ while ‘Be The One’ has serious funk undertones, with great backing vocal lines. The band let the techno dance come to the fore in ‘Keep On Dancing’ but its hard to say where the ska or rock ends and the dance begins, or the other way around. Inculto have melded a style for themselves that is distinctly unique.
The addition of a dance remix of Eastern European Funk (which is amazing) and a Lithuanian language version of ‘Sabroso’ close the album. All in all, I’m pleasantly surprised and this will be the first album I’ll reach for next time there are people are over. Unless InCulto want to keep their promise and come back to play at a party in my house.