Phat Albert - "self-titled"
The college atmosphere seems to breed party bands like nothing else.
However, most of these bands last long enough to play a few house
parties, and then dissolve after an evening of alcohol-fueled
debauchery. Not so with Phat Albert. They’ve lasted long enough to play
around the area for five years, and put out two demos.
Yet, it took ‘til now for them to put out a full-length. Was it worth
the the wait? Well, happily, it takes some new tracks and mixes them
with new recordings of songs from their first two demos. Phat Albert
has now taken their Sublime-influenced sound to the next level, and
rocks out. The sound ranges from ska, to rock, to funk, and all with a
dash of hip-hop.
The negative aspects of this album are fairly simple. Phat Albert has
quite a few influences and flows fairly nicely through the various
genres. Too bad the band wears them fairly openly, and many of their
songs bear an unfortunate resmebalnce to other tunes. The opening riff
to the album sounds like it was directly lifted from Sheryl Crow’s "All
I Wanna Do" and "Best Friend" still sounds like a take-off of the
The new recordings have hindered the band’s sound, as well. The sound
may be clearer and fuller, but in tweaking the songs, Phat Albert has
lost some of the elements that made their songs enjoyable. "Little
Rascals" previosuly had a cool fade-in keyboard part, and that’s been
dropped. The guitar parts of "Typical Party Song" have improved, and it
hits harder than it did, which I enjoy, but the new drummer slows the
song down, and doesn’t get into the party atmosphere.
The band just seems unable to decide whether or not they want to be
Sublime with a lower THC content or the Urge with less rage and
aggression. The albumn waffles between funk-ska and rap-rock with some
success at each, but never a bona-fide hit from either style.
Hell, the standout track is "Devious," a collaboration between the band
and various local hip-hop artists. It’s a Dirty South meets Madwest
style with some killer funk riffs, but the thing is, it’s completely
obvious that it wasn’t originally planned for inclusion on the album.
The band would have done better to have released it under a different
name and used the success from that single to start over. As it is,
they’re stuck with one amazing single attatched to a series of mediocre