Album review: The Ninth Chapter | Self Titled

Northern Rivers groove merchants The Ninth Chapter are a band whose pedigree has been crafted on over a decade’s worth of sweat and grind on the live circuit. Having previously worked with Dave Adkins of Resin Dogs fame on their previous release, 2015’s ‘EP30’, the band certainly know how to bring the funk, as evidenced within the bump and swing of their highly impressive, self-titled debut long player.

For this release, recorded at Blind Boy Analogue Studios in Byron Bay with Geoff Wright at the helm, the bands aim was to chart their musical evolution, from their more folksy, singer-songwriter sounding days of yore to the funk-blues punch which they’re currently renowned for delivering.

The album jumps out of the gates with the sassy ‘My Baby Don’t Come Around’, positively oozing dance-inducing grooves and punchy horn breaks galore. Current single, ‘My Own Time’ is an impressive early highlight, it’s catchy and insistent, brassed-up chorus underpinned by a head nodding bassline and augmented with breezy flute interjections.

While funk may be the template, the band also deliver a pleasingly diverse array of roots-savvy elements into their musical stew. Case in point – ‘What’s Going To Happen Next’, a previous single from the band that channels a bluesy swagger, complemented with the addition of punchy, Stax inducing horns from the gritty side of the tracks. ‘Smoke Stack’ is a tooting slow grinder which adds a loping, hip hop vocal to it’s brassed-up blues bedrock. And ‘Runaway Train’ harks back to the band’s beginnings, it’s roots-rock vibe somewhat bringing to mind Aussie folk-rock legends Weddings, Parties, Anything.

‘Waterfall’, with its anthemic “get down” refrain, chanted vocals and yet more of those funky horns, and final number, the aptly monikered ‘D Groove’, with its rousing finale, are sure to be immediate live favourites. You’d do well to catch them when they tear up the stage and bust out tracks from this impressive record in May at the Blues On Broadbeach Festival, where they’re sure to turn heads and move derrieres in equal measure.

IMAGE (c) And The Trees Photography

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