Review by Kara Wilbeck
For a band with such a specific, dialed-in sound, The New Mastersounds sure do draw quite the diverse crowd. Last night at the Wonder Ballroom in Portland, seasoned Baby Boomer jazz heads in collared shirts boogied next to dreadlocked twenty-somethings in faded Phish tees. It’s safe to say that if you’re at a New Mastersounds show, you’re probably a pretty big music nerd- and you know what’s good.
The New Mastersounds bring a polished British sensibility to funk, and at times can lean more heavily into the genre of jazz. Drawing the obvious sound comparison to the Meters, their funk is tight and measured- which is not to say that it doesn’t, at times, let totally loose and straight up rage.
For this show, the band brought out their horns, which is a serious treat and gives their sound some extra body. The band’s ability to maneuver between masterful, clean funk and a dirty, dirty get down is exemplary of their talent.
The New Mastersounds are the type of band that makes a musician want to go straight home and pick up their instrument. They appeal to the nerdiest of music lovers and party people alike. Their hype spreads mainly via word of mouth- and those who have seen them tend to talk about them a lot. Trust your friends who can’t stop raving about The New Mastersounds, and get yourself to a show.