Bruce Lee Band – Beautiful World (CD)

Ooh… its the Manfred Mann Band meeting with The Specials. Or, at least, that is how the beginning of this EP (Last Words This Morning) sounds. Borth’s saxophone really gives “Last Words This Morning” a full-bodied sound that draws the emotions of listeners just like the keys of Choi intensify the second track, “Go Feet Go”. The great thing about the Bruce Lee Band in this track is that they are able to create through their music, the drums and sax laid down on the track, feet dancing furiously on the dance hall floor. Allowing eir vocals to really hide behind the incredible musicianship on “Beautiful World”, Mike’s vocals really add a final topping to what is an incredible ska/rock-redux band.

The disc plays the ultimate tease role, as the five cuts on this disc spin through in less than a quarter-hour. Each track feels as it ends in the blink of the eye, aided most by the very coherent and neat sound that the band purveys throughout the entirety of the disc. The slower tempo of “Running Out of Time” is still infused with the spastic energy of the band, so it does not drag down spirits in the least. The sax solo that leads out the track really provides a smooth ending to a track that is dominated more by Mike’s semi-gritty vocals. The bass really comes into play during the final track, “Forward and Back”; while the beginning of the track really has a Cure-like feel to it, the vocals that begin soon after really make the track immortal (unable to be chronologically organized).

The secret track on this disc feels like a Mike Park track, owing much to the fact that this is just eir and ey’s guitar, but provides a wonderful end to a disc that may just struggle with Pama International for the title of strongest ska album of the year. The Bruce Lee Band definitely owes some of its success on the music side because of the fact that this is essentially an EP played by the Rx Bandits featuring Mike Park; however, this transcends anything that either group could put to disc and really shows a seamless facade in practice. This EP is aural crack; one listen to it will ensure that one will buy the now-classic 1996 release,“The B.Lee Band” and the next LP, whenever it actually comes out (2023 by my calculations).

Top Track: Go Feet Go

Rating: 7.5/10

Bruce Lee Band – Beautiful World / 2005 Asian Man Records / 5 Tracks / http://www.bruceleeband.com / http://www.asianmanredcords.com / Reviewed 19 May 2005

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