With George Clinton’s increasing interesting in bringing in more and more newer (and often younger) musicians into his P-Funk musical empire? It was bound that not only would financial and generation clashes as well. This all came to play in the late 70’s when the core of George Clinton’s original vocal group Fuzzy Haskins,Calvin Simon and Grady Thomas abruptly re-emerged in 1981 with the name Funkadelic in hand and bought in a group of their own with Michael Williams,Billy Moms,Ben Powers Jr.,Johnny Quad Riley,Stan Thorn and Ken Blackmon and put this album out,as they announced at every chance possible,without any participation from Clinton.
“Phunklords” starts out the album with a brightly melodic layer of synthesizers of the plassic P-Funk “video game” sounding variety before launching into a straight up bass heavy,percussive keyboard sound with vocals that trade off very singable melodic lines as well as the call and response chants of classic style funkativity. This also extends into “You’ll Like It Too”,the title song and “Come Back” as well. All are very strong on that level. “The Witch” ends the first side in three parts: a low voiced vocal proclimation at the beginning,then onto a slinky new wave electric and synth bass driven slither on “The Infunktation” and ending on the rocking guitar groove of “The Cellfunction”.
“Call The Doctor” is a slow crawling,wah wah power deep voodoo funk groove while “Whose A Funkadelic” is led by a round synth bass pulse and a high pitched chipmunk style vocal rap with a sea of Eddie Hazel style guitars. Considering this album is led essentially the melodically inclined vocal end of the original Parliaments group of the 1960’s? Their barber shop style gospel soul leads and harmonies help beef up what is essentially a very uptempo funk oriented album that strips away the more eccentric elements of Clinton’s spin on P-Funk and concentrates on a very coherent sound that is incredibly rhythmic and melodically powerful.
It’s an excellent album that succeeds at being P-Funk which works as both a singers and a keyboardists/musicians album all at the same time. And despite the damage it caused to the whole of P-Funk to release this as it was? It’s a powerful album embracing the side of P-Funk that would help spearhead the smaller group,synth/electro funk of the early/mid 80’s that had arrived. Highly recommended!
Originally posted on December 31st,2014