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Sex Mob: Sex Mob Does Bond

Considering the material and the band rep, the title of this recording was probably inevitable. Even so, it doesn’t give a very accurate impression of the music, which isn’t as goofy as the name might suggest. The band doesn’t really, uh, “do” Bond, so much as they, um, “do” the secret agent’s personal film composer, John Barry. With few exceptions, the band restricts themselves to Barry’s Bond music. In other words, you won’t find names like McCartney or Le Bon among the composer credits. Nor will you find many obvious choices. The band covers only two familiar themes outright-“Nobody Does It Better” and “You Only Live Twice.”

Programmed a bit like an actual film (albeit, one with an intermission), Does Bond saves the catchy, familiar stuff for the opening and closing credits (the beginning and the end) and spends most of the recording working through evocative, plot-tied, honest-to-goodness soundtrack music. Familiar themes, “Goldfinger” among them, do surface in unexpected ways, just as Barry would have it, but everything else is subject to change. The Mob takes an admirably measured and creative approach with this material, preserving the danger! guns! women! atmosphere on some tunes, while reimagining others as spooky trance/dub freakouts, free-blowing passages or bluesy themes. Slide trumpeter Steve Bernstein stands out with some simple but effective plunger work and Briggan Krauss makes his presence felt-not a particularly difficult thing for the hard-blowing saxophonist-with bluntly delivered theme statements and heavily reverbed solos. However, the greatest contributions come from special guest John Medeski, whose organ is the ensemble sound. He also manages to drop some thrillingly spiky organ solos (reference: “Over and Out”). Hard to imagine this without him.

Originally Published