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Final Pre-Winter Blowout

The Wiseguys
The Antidote
(Ideal/Wall Of Sound)

I hadn't heard much about this group, but after reading a positive review and finding the disc for uber-cheap, I decided that I really couldn't go too wrong. As it turned out, it's a great end-of-the-summer blowout disc, almost arriving too close to the cold for comfort. I can just imagine this thing fueling warm summer nights for weeks on end with its hopped-up beats and sampling madness. Take Fatboy Slim and mix him up with a bit of turntablism and a touch of DJ Shadow, then throw it all in the oven and cook for an hour. What you have remaining might sound quite a bit like The Wiseguys.

The super-long (almost 75 minutes) disc starts out with the 2 and a half minute cut-up session entitled "Re-Introduction." Like the first track on DJ Shadow's Entroducing... disc, it cuts through about 20 different chunks over the course of it and throws down goofy samples and some wicked scratching in to boot. It's just enough to set the flavor of what's to come and get you licking your chops for more. The second track gives you just what you're asking for. Entitled "Ooh La La," it sounds like it could be the sequel to the aforementioned Fatboy Slims summer-anthem of "The Rockafeller Skank." Moving along with a nice little stutter-step beat and some horns, it even has a goofy little no-brain sample that drills into your head nearly as much as the funk soul brother did.

From there, the album goes into a more laid-back groove with "We Be The Crew..." Sounding not unlike something DJ Cam or DJ Krush might pull out, the slower track has a nice, thick beat and a little flute loop drifts over it all while some sly horns play in the background. Things go into yet another direction on the next track "Experience" when things slide off into a sort of mutant hip-hop track, including some decent rapped vocals. It's not quite as solid as the instrumental tracks, but it's not a huge trip-up. Just when you thought things wouldn't change any more, they come right back out and throw the spaghetti-western/disco/trip-hop style at you with "Cowboy '78." Amazingly enough, they manage to pull it off with quite a bit of catchiness to spare. Of course, the hilarious gun samples and flamenco guitars add another goofy level to it all.

After another lounge-chair groover ("Search's End"), another hip-hop vocal number ("The Grabbing Hands"), and a minute-long filler piece, the album again takes off with the almost big beat "Start The Commotion." Like the aforementioned "Ooh La La," I'll be very surprised if the track doesn't tear up dancefloors all over the place with its infectious beat. With horns, a chunky little guitar riff and some more nicely placed samples, it's hard not to at least sway when its playing.

After another laid-back number and a couple more hip-hoppity vocal tracks, the disc closes out with the deliciously sleazy "Au Pair Girls," and one more slick dance number "The Bounce." The latter moves along with a cool little piano ditty and another bumped-up beat. It's a nice album closer and again shows the group can pull off all kinds of styles. Overall, the disc works really well, even though a couple of the tracks with rapped vocals might get on your nerves and the middle of the album drags out a little too much. A couple of the tracks are capable of completely blowing out the dancefloor while the slower tracks are pretty nice as well. It's a fairly varied effort from a group I'll probably have to pay more attention to now.

Rating: 6.75