The Easy's second album, "33 Black," delivers on the band's tagline: "Music for your mind and your behind."
The Baton Rouge-based band walks a fine line between danceable, party-ready hip-hop and technical, jazz-influenced funk. Bass player Chris "2Stroke" Polk and drummer Eli Williams form a thick rhythm section that supports a unique blend of melodies and textures from trombonist Nick Garrison and John Mann V, on keys, synths, additional percussion and vibraphone. In front of it all, Polk doubles as the group’s lyricist.
“33 Black” combines elements from several genres to create something truly fresh. The vibraphone and trombone call back to smooth jazz while digital effects and synthesizers nod to the electro-funk of George Clinton. The mix offers a groovy backdrop for Polk’s raps, which range from party anthems like “Jump” and “Wobble” to the struggling love story on album closer “Listen.”
Throughout the project, Garrison’s trombone stands out as a melodic cornerstone, complete with effects that at times make the instrument sound more like a lead guitar than a brass instrument. The band's playfulness with digital effects is on full display on the instrumental track “Wax.”
Overall, “33 Black” is a solid, forward step from The Easy’s 2014 debut. This sophomore album finds the band taking more risks, experimenting with instrumental effects and allowing Polk to flex his flow — especially on the cerebral verses of “Black at Your Door.”
The Easy is moving further in a direction all its own.
“33 Black” is available at on major streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. facebook.com/theeasymusic.
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