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Issue 1089

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Review

The Haggis Horns : one of these days

Haggis 1

8

6.1

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UK release date 06.11.2017

Someone's been watching a dose of blaxploitation movies and I heartily concur (for the most part) with the choices in direction the Leeds based funk unit are taking.The new guitar led material gives them a bite that sinks deep.Opener 'Curse Of The Haggis' sees the band laying out its mission statement for this new platter good and proper - a solid instrumental enticer with a mean fuzz guitar that gives way to some meterish meandering evolving into a perfect, moody backdrop for this ace horn section to ply their considerable wares on - it's a promising start.
Lucinda Slim takes the first slinky vocal tune of the day on the funky In deep sounding 'New York Beat' very commercial with that 80's vibe which is very popular these days ( just check out The Allergies ) a sophisticated arrangement with a whole heap of dance floor potential.

Trying to cover all bases is admirable but the rap tunes don't cut it for me but hey, it's horses for courses so you can't knock them for experimenting with the spoken word.'A World Gone Crazy' harks back to the hazey funk of say, Kool & The Gang's 'Summertime' and again Lucinda Slim takes control on this slow burning,guitar churning slice of horn filled retro blessedness.Great to see the return of John Mc Callum too, who can forget his contribution to 'Hot Damn'? A great single from the band years ago.''The Long Way' is a 'Herculean' effort and this guy has never sounded better,the combination of The Haggis's and this unique vocalist is top drawer, he adds a real touch of class.

'All Fuzzed Up' another killer guitar based instrumental, is a stone cold classic gem mixing Led Zeppelin with Tower Of Power and coming up with a gorgeous theme that would be cool on any tv programme really great library music.Forgive me if I'm stating the obvious but there's some quality material here,The Haggis Horns have excelled themselves majestically here....'Gonna Be Alright' again rams it home fuelling the flames of funk once again with a sublime alto sax solo and some mad synth soloing bolstered by the ever so refined horn section who always serve the tune with taste and seem to effortlessly create the best lines out there.Again a glorious pairing on 'One Of These Days' with the criminally underrated John Mc Callum leading the way on this gospel charged gem.All in all they are pin sharp and heavy. A searing wall of brass and class this is a great comeback and is sure to gain them a whole new set of fans in the immediate future.
Words Emrys Baird

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