Right from the start, Montreal-based band The Brooks make it clear they’ve got the funk! And it ain’t cheap. The first seconds of Funkyshit highlight their ability to groove with a rich rhythm pattern. I thought: “OK, we have the thing, here!”

The 8-piece band continues their great job when their lead singer, veteran Alan Prater joins on Pain and Bliss and the more emotional So Hard. He can deliver emotion while the horns bring in the necessary punch. The Brooks sound just vintage enough to be a credible funk band. The guitars, organ and keyboards sound exactly like they should. In this type of music, we’re not looking for originality as much as the authentic groove essential to get the feet moving.

Mama brings in a cool nod to the Beastie Boys with a couple of notes from “Check Your Head” before bringing the speed up. On the other end of the spectrum, songs like Last Chance, bring in a softer and sexy feel to the album.

The Brooks includes ace keyboardist Dan Thouin, jazz trumpettist Hichem Khalfa, bassist Alexandre Lapointe, percussionist Marc Bell, drummer Maxime Bellavance, guitarist Philippe Look and saxophonist Sébastien Grenier.

We have noticed The Brooks at the 2016 Montreal Jazz Fest as they had hosted a free Prince tribute concert in a jam-pack Metropolis, a few weeks after the Minneapolis genius’s sudden and stunning death. They had really nailed it, bringing the funky party alive with either copy perfect rendition of classic Prince songs or their own original spin on some of them. It was awesome!

The Brooks is the perfect party band. Their second album, released late November 2016, is a very solid soul album that will rock you out of your shoes. Check it out!

the brooks cd

THE BROOKS
Pain and Bliss
(Troublemakers Inc., 2016)

-Genre: funk
-In the same league as Lee Fields & The Expressions

Buy the album on the band’s official site
Follow the band via their Facebook page
Listen to videos on the band’s YouTube channel

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About The Author

Nicolas Pelletier

Mélomane invétéré et rédacteur agréé, Nicolas pratique la critique en mode olympique: il parle de tout, tout le temps, depuis 1991. Il a publié 6 000 critiques de disques et concerts dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur enMusique.ca, dont il a également été le rédacteur-en-chef de 2009 à 2014. Il publie “Les perles rares et grands crus de la musique” en 2013, et devient stratège numérique des radios de Bell Média en 2015, participant au lancement de la marque iHeartRadio au Canada en 2016.