Groovealicious South East Queensland six piece Cheap Fakes have just delivered a delirious slice of musical mana in the form of their fourth album, ‘Deep Space’. The band have built up quite a following since their inception in 2009, and with a few recent lineup changes, this album sees them diversify their sonic template to incorporate a subtle shift from their straight-up funk-ska-rock origins into a more genre-blending universe, which some have christened with the vivid moniker of ‘cactus jazz’.
Recorded at Love Street Studios on the Gold Coast and engineered by the band’s prolific lead guitarist, Scotty French, ‘Deep Space’ kicks the party off with the jaunty ‘Sisters’, a piano and brass driven exotic funk rocker with a dash of psychedelia squeezed into the song’s middle section, perfectly setting the scene for the album to unfurl it’s deliciously diverse sonic tentacles.
‘Dust And Bones’ is a spicy Latino funk workout that wouldn’t be out of place sound tracking a 70’s themed TV show, while ‘Shibuya’ rocks the Casbah with a bouncy gypsy-ska shuffle augmented with twangy surf guitar.
Elsewhere we get the funked-up psych trip that is ‘No Scents’, while ‘Ben’s In Space’ is a 45 second instro-lude of squelchy deep funk, which segues into the lewd, retro funk rock of ‘BiggysSack’, which features a mid-song horn interlude worthy of channeling one’s inner-pimp.
The album’s title track is also one of its highlights, a spritely, horn driven number which in turn powers and bounces along on a bedrock of electro-funk, with the latter half of the song wigging out with electro-psych and drum flourishes.
In penultimate number ‘Mountain’, another of the album’s highwater marks, we ascend to the heady realms of wigged-out, spaghetti cactus-jazz, shrouded in a haze of mystic psych-exotica. And ‘Touch N Go’ is a Prince channeling funk rocker which concludes the album on a party vibe before dissolving into more tripped-out soundscapes.
With ‘Deep Space’, Cheap Fakes have charted a course into the outer realms of their musical universe. This is a trip well worth strapping yourselves in for.