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Listen Up: Wednesday, June 25, 2003
Spoonfed Tribe

We Are Part of the Problem ... (Say What You Want Records)

By Ken Shimamoto

Am I the only one who was reminded of a Spoonfed Tribe show while watching the, uh, rave scene in The Matrix Reloaded? A Spoonfed show has the same vibe of ecstatic release displayed by the film’s Zionites.

The good news is that, with its fourth c.d., the Tribe has finally managed to capture all the diverse sonic elements that make its followers so fanatical. We Are Part of the Problem ... is their most varied and accessible recording to date. Besides all the mainstays of live Tribe — thunderous rock, relentless grooves, a shuddering percussion jam (“Chupa Cabra”) — the disc also incorporates the best parts of band members’ side projects, like All Braves, No Chief’s prog-y tendencies, and A-hummin’ Acoustical Acupuncture’s mystery and gentle fun.

Electric guitars come to the fore more than they have in past Tribe efforts. EGG Nebula and Daniel Katsuk’s vocals evoke everything from Bob Marley to the speeded-up voices on classic P-Funk jams. They’ve added some new flavors to the musical stew, too: A jazzy horn section augments the band on several cuts; Darla Oates’ soaring voice graces three tunes, including the Middle Eastern-inflected “Beetle Orange,” which also features Orion’s snaky violin.

The songs flow together seamlessly and feature some of the Tribe’s best writing. “Uncle Donnie” paints a compassionate portrait of a homeless person (“How can I be homeless / When all I see is my home”). The Caribbean-flavored “Dirty Sanchez” parties like mad while alluding to karmic concerns (“All the bad things done before / Come back to me twice plus one more”).

Maybe now, Spoonfed will take the UK by storm à la Polyphonic Spree. With their penchant for inscrutable names (their second drummer currently calls himself GouffahttsgarbonzoQCbockusbaby-hueybuckbuffpuff McboyMcboy), the Tribal ones could be huge in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwy-rndrobwyll-llantysiliogogogoch.

Sat at the Ridglea Theater, 6025 Camp Bowie Blvd, FW. 817-738-9500.

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