Lord of the Harvest
Former James Brown/Parliament/ Funkadelic bassist Bootsy Collins is an undisputable funk legend, but even his best solo LPs have been marred by sloppy jams, irksomely cartoonish vocals and tedious self-aggrandizement. Innerhythmic, cognizant of Bootsy's legacy, offers this warning with its reissue of Zillatron's 1994 album Lord of the Harvest: "This record is silly...maybe the silliest." That's not strictly true. Here, Bootsy's corny antics are tempered by Bill Laswell, anti-guitar hero Buckethead, versatile P-Funk keyboardist Bernie Worrell, and rappers Grandmaster Melle Mel and the Last Poets' Umar Bin Hassan. Solo, Collins' sex-mad-stoner shtick gets old quick, but under his mutant-sci-fi-superhero Zillatron guise, he offers more mystery and weirder sonics. His rubbery, blubbery bass snakes with its usual flashy dexterity in these outre stadium-funk excursions and thrash-metal flameouts, which recall his work in Laswell's Praxis project. Subtlety's never been Collins' forte, and Harvest typically blares and slams with the maximal force of the Matrix triology's special effects. Just ignore the appallingly sweet disc-closing ballad, which nearly mars all the previous cyber-funk ballistics before it.