Kenny Wesley probably isn't a name you're familiar with, unless you're a die-hard “So You Think You Can Dance” fan. However, with his debut album The Real Thing, Wesley has immediately established himself as a serious -and seriously fun- artist who's looking to bring funk back.
Welsey influences are undeniable – half the tracks on this album sound like great 70s funk, in the vein of Parliament or the Jacksons, with a heaping helping of current-day synthesizers on top. Wesley shines on these tracks, such as Real Thing and Taffy, with some down-and-dirty fuzz guitar riffs and hot drumming that make head-bobbing a virtual necessity.
FU is a band out of Tokyo that cites everyone from Louis Armstrong to the Dead Boys as their influences. I guess they forgot about Klaus Nomi. Their song On No Words from the album Love I Love has some very Nomiesque moments amidst gorgeous guitar beds and lush production. Yes it’s pronounced “EFF-JU” but the name FU means something very different in Japan than it means here… “From unconscious, most of our songs come from dream or daydream and they’re already written”.
It’s not possible to really categorize the sound achieved by the band, working with Grammy Award winning producer Malcolm Burn. Think Muse with invented language. Think about what Peter Gabriel must hear inside his head before he records.
In addition to gigs in and around Tokyo, FU will be playing at Indie Week in Toronto, October 12-16, 2011.