Sounds Like This by ALO Featuring Bassist Steve Adams… I liked “Sounds Like This” by ALO (Animal Liberation Orchestra) pretty much from start to finish. As I listened, I found myself trying to identify who they sounded like (I did think of Steely Dan a little). The wide variety of tunes they play makes it hard to pin them down into a specific genre; These guys are pretty unique!
Even though this is not one of the usual “Bass Heavy” CD’s we get for review, I think it merits listening to and sharing with all of you.
ALO hails from the Bay Area in California and has been together for over twenty years. The smooth flow of their music and harmonies can only come with the time they have spent together becoming a well-oiled music machine. The lyrics are intelligent and catchy and I find myself running them around in my head after I have been listening on my morning commute in to work.
Steve Adams / bass, vocals
Dave Brogan / drums, vocals
Zach Gill / keys, ukulele, vocals
Lebo / guitars, pedal steel, vocals
“Dead Still Dance” may seem a bit morbid topic-wise, but it reminds me of my sister-in-law Cristina’s affection for the Mexican “Dia de los Muertos” decorations. There is a kind of light, fun approach to what could be a real dark topic. The hypnotic, repetitive groove, lays a foundation for the lyrics to play on.
“Blew Out The Walls” has a touch of funk blended with rock and lyrics that could be any musician’s reality about their beginnings. I think a lot of us can identify with this cut. I found a live video of this tune of rather poor quality but still kind of fun to watch.
“Falling Dominoes“ has a kind of “Low-rider rhythm” and feel. Vocal harmony with solid guitar support and a percussive strut makes this tune interesting.
“Speed of Dreams” is one of those tunes that gets in your head and won’t get out! There is a nice syncopated beat and minor key to the main lyrics that catches your attention, then the chorus changes it all up with a very simple piano line and a shift into major. This is a tune I can see being very popular on the airwaves.
“Storms and Hurricanes” gives us a taste of the Ukulele in the spotlight. Another relevant set of lyrics and a general good feeling makes you want to dance while you listen.
So as you can see ALO is the kind of band that has something for everybody. Whether you catch them at a live performance or listen to their tunes as you cruise down the highway, this is some really good music.
Check them them out when the CD releases May 8th.