First Signs of Danger
“Funky horns and Afrobeat rhythms”
The Macrotones have always been accessible – but that’s just it. They are unquestionably tight, a well-packaged Afrobeat machine from Boston. Their newest album, First Signs of Danger, is a good record, but something is missing – a level of energy, an attitude within innovation, a climax that doesn’t quite reach it’s proper peak. Something.
The album opens up exceptionally, The Macrotones funk up their outfit with various samples and stellar brass ensembles. Beginning with a deadly polyrhythm in “Flutenbier,” followed by “Lieber And Lee,” The Macrotones showcase honest and powerful instrumentalism backed by a uniform sense of timing. Other fun, interesting tracks are “Deadly,” “Survival” and “Praying Mantis.”
First Signs of Danger is the kind of summer CD you listen to on long drives, or traveling to a music festival. The Macrotones’ grasp on Afrobeat is admirable and their music is fun, somewhat quirky, but easily anticipated. First Signs of Danger is 12 songs deep and needs to be pushed further. Maybe this writer has high expectations, but if any Afrobeat orchestra has the moxie to really funk, it’s The Macrotones.
Don’t get it wrong – the album flows beautifully. It’s danceability and progressive multidimensionality hits you in the head with a snide kind of brassiness. First Signs of Danger symbolizes what could only hope to be the beginning of a more exuberant, soulful career for The Macrotones. (Young Cub Records)
Produced, engineered, and recorded by Craig Welsch at Hillside Sound Studio, Allston MA // Mastered by Steven Berson at Total Sonic Media, Brooklyn, NY // Album art by 21:24