Album Review:

Gang of Thieves, Born To Be Loud

By Rachel Bessman

Hailing from Burlington, Vermont, one thing that is consistently said of Gang Of Thieves is that they always hit the throttle and turn the energy up at their performances. Their latest album, Born To Be Loud, encapsulates the high energy they are known for with a blend of funk and rock and roll that is sure to get the crowd moving their feet.

Recorded in New Jersey and released on September 23rd of this year, Born To Be Loud is certainly aptly named. The first track, Bow To The Pedal  immediately drew me in with the clean and loud belting horns of band member Nate Reit and renowned trumpet player Steve Jankowski of Chicago and Blood, Sweat, and Tears.  Coupled with the powerful voice of vocalist Michael Reit and a heavy bass line, the first track sets up the feel for the rest of the album and the vibe of the band in general. Bow To The Pedal runs seamlessly into the second song and title track that really showcases how Gang Of Thieves not only brings the funky beats, they also know how to rock.

Born To Be Loud is a true testament to a funk-rock fusion band. The balance between the varying instrumentations feels flawlessly executed and cohesive. The album opens with a strong dose of rock n roll with the first two tracks in particular utilizing thrilling guitar riffs and powerful vocals that has you nodding your head almost immediately.

The third song, Butcher and the Baker, is probably the best example of the kind of music Gang of Thieves produces on this album. The heavy bassline and percussion soaked beat lends itself perfectly to the complementary tones of the horns and instantly creates a sound that has you moving your body to the rhythm. The refrain is so well crafted, reminding the listener of classic funk songs from years ago.

Gang Of Thieves has a talent for taking notes from the funk and rock of older decades and adding a new, progressive type of sound on top of it that is not only captivating, but nearly impossible to not dance to. The songs within the album effortlessly flow between genres, and even subgenres. Work Together sounds almost like a feel-good alternative rock song from the 90s, if it had soulful horns and thick bass layered over it.

Born To Be Loud transitions from high caliber rock to groovy funk without the listener even noticing. The hard rock of the beginning of the album flows into a kind of catchy and cleverly written funk that gets really sexy in the middle, with songs like Love Bucket and Like a Piece of Candy having you want to grab a partner and get dancing.

I love the way the album closes off with the song Feelin’ Funky (Got the Heat On) and it’s lyrics “Baby if you’re feeling funky, come on take a chance – show me if you’re feeling funky, let me see you dance” All in all, Born To Be Loud is yet another album by Gang of Thieves that will not disappoint a fan of funky fused rock and roll. And if the listener wasn’t previously a fan, they certainly will be after hearing this album.

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