Attention to detail is important if you’re in a band. Music must be the top priority, obviously, but image and artwork also has a huge role to play.So it is with Los Angeles outfit Chicano Batman who are dapper chaps,their suits, bow ties and ruffled shirts emulating the golden age of Philly Soul.
Current album Freedom is Free is evocative of Miles Davis and Sly and the Family Stone with its depiction of race riots and police brutality on the psychedelic front sleeve- surely also a timely nod to the casual racism by the current POTUS.
And their music,happily, is up to their references- a hot stew of psychedelic funk, soul and gospel. Angel Child has wah- wah guitars and a smooth creamy vocal, Right Off The Back could soundtrack a blaxploitation film.
Yet for all of the retro sounds, messages of empowerment and styling, the band are 100% serious in their intentions. There is clearly a love of the genre. The plea for peace and consciousness raising is rooted in sincerity-no parody served up here- and in these cynical times, you can’t say fairer than that.
Freedom Is Free is out on March 3rd on ATO.
For more information on the tour and album, go to: http://www.chicanobatman.com