Bonerama’s Hot Like Fire in stores today, Tipitina’s release party 10/7

Bonerama, the only-in-New Orleans, trombone-driven funky rock band, is releasing their seventh studio album, Hot Like Fire, on New Orleans’ premier independent label, Basin Street Records. The album drops today. Tomorrow night there will be a major league throwdown at Tipitina’s. Darcy Malone and the Tangle are the opening act.

Bonerama first burst on the scene twenty years ago with a sound unlike anyone had ever heard. With three trombones out front, led by founding members Mark Mullins and Craig Klein, the group moved past genres into a category of one.

With a sousaphone and drum kit (Matt Perrine and Walt Lundy respectively) driving the beat, they can sound like a brass band. With a driving electric guitar, played with jazzy aplomb by Bert Cotton, they can rock. Given this is a New Orleans band through and through, heavy funk is in the DNA as well provided in a large part by third trombonist Greg Hicks. Consider his solo on the album’s last cut, “Christiania.”

Hot Like Fire finds the band entering another phase of their illustrious career. The new album sparkles sonically with mostly original compositions from the pen of Mullins, Klein, and Perrine.

The opener, Perrine’s “Bad Dog” positively rocks. The title cut, written by Klein, grooves like a sunny day with the sousaphone bubbling underneath. Mullins’ “Happy” has a pop feel and a melody line that sums up in its title. Cotton’s blazing solos in the middle of the song and the outro keep their New Orleans cred intact. The group even reaches into reggae and doo wop with Perrine’s “Sun Lion.”

The two covers, Radiohead’s classic, “Paranoid Android” and Allen Toussaint’s relatively obscure, “Basic Lady,” don’t so much show the band’s influences as much as demonstrate their depth. On the intro of the latter, the group gives an instrumental shout out to one of Toussaint’s biggest hits, “Java,” before Mullins shows off his vocal chops.

Basin Street mainstay Tracey Freeman provides strong production work and mixing making Hot Like Fire a wonderful addition to both Bonerama’s discography and the label’s catalog. However, there is still nothing like seeming them live with solos blazing and the rhythm section surging.

Show time is 9 PM.

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