Catch Chicago’s Liquid Soul live and you’ll know that the band exists to perform under disco lights for sweating masses of moving bodies. But the eight-piece acid-jazz vets work just fine on CD, too.
As envisioned by leader saxophonist and composer Mars Williams, a Liquid Soul CD throws out a dizzying mélange of horns, guitars, rap, screaming, funk and even some spoken-word coolness. Joining in the happy confusion this time around are DJ Logic, former Widespread Panic keyboardist John “JoJo” Hermann, Matt Walker (formerly of Smashing Pumpkins) and rapper Brian “McB” Quarles.
If this is your bag, baby, then One-Two Punch should keep you up nights, although moments of chill-ish, psychedelic calm float throughout, possibly to prepare listeners for the onslaughts to come. Quintessential Liquid Soul tunes are relentless in their energy, and here those include the ’70s-funk-rap “Stop” and “Baghdad Café,” which dares listeners to catch their collective breath over a cacophony of guitars, horns and orgiastic female moaning.