Stromba: Giddy Up

Stromba (producers James Dyer and Tom Tyler plus bassist/guitarist James McKechan) returns after a four-year hiatus with the 12-inch Giddy Up, a precursor to the band's debut album Tales from the Sitting Room. While the swinging disco groove of “Giddy Down” (an alternate version of “Giddy Up” that's exclusive to the release) might evoke the ‘80s, there's nothing unfashionable about its cool, bass-driven pulse. Melodica shadings and organ accents bring Stromba's dubbier side to the forefront on “Septic Skank” though twanging guitars add a subtle Old West feel. Powered by a relentless, serpentine bassline, the 7-minute “Giddy Up” glides serenely back onto the dance floor, this time in a swaying Afrobeat treatment boosted by blazing trumpet wah-wah and congas. While FatCat aficionados might be surprised by the disc's disco emphasis, the release reveals no lapse in quality, just a stylistic broadening of the label's offerings.

May 2005