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The Sh-Booms | The Blurred Odyssey

The Orlando soul powerhouses kick out the jams on a burly, badass debut disc.

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Soul power. As Mr. James Brown informed us way back in the day, it’s what you need. What you want. What you got to have. Unfortunately, it’s also what too many retro-minded bands these days are missing. Oh sure, they can handle the first part of the equation just fine. But the back half is what separates the men from the boys. And what separates Orlando’s Sh-Booms from the bands that go bust. What gives them the edge on their debut disc The Blurred Odyssey? Two things, really: 1) Stupendous force-of-nature frontwoman Brenda Radney, who got her start singing with and for (believe it or not) Justin Timberlake — and who presumably left after it became patently clear to all concerned that she was light-years out of his league; and 2) A burly, badass band that infuses classic horn-laced soul and R&B with the power and punch of vintage garage-rock and proto-punk. Think around how great Amy Winehouse would have sounded fronting a Detroit-rock combo that truly kicked out the jams. Then try to wrap your noggin around the fact that these guys come from the realm of Disney World, Universal Studios, pastel motels, early-bird specials and stand-your-ground laws. If there’s more where The Sh-Booms came from, maybe — just maybe — there’s hope for the Sunshine State after all.