One of the great musical injustices of the last century was the disservice done to disco and funk. Painted as “simply” a meaningless and mindless bit of fun, the two genres were completely severed from their musically interesting and socially radical roots. From a style that sticks a finger in the eye of rock n’ roll, by focusing on sex positivity and diversity, disco became the commercial opiate of the white masses, drummed up as another combatant in the supposedly radical culture wars that were and are fueling the corporate music machine. Sounds dramatic? Check this out. Luckily, not everyone has forgotten the legacy of disco and its radical potential; TWRP have been proudly carrying that torch for years now. Their previous releases included tracks like “R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Her” and plenty of empowering lyrics.
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These gestures had always hinted at something more under the admittedly funny and endearing surface aesthetic of the band and now, that something has finally blossomed with Together Through Time. Make no mistake; I love their previous releases as well. But Together Through Time, released last week, is TWRP finally seizing on their potential, casting their ambitions far and wide. The album is longer, more solid and more self assured, shedding much of the more childish asides from previous releases in favor of fully realized tracks, the unmistakable TWRP grandiose touch and just funky, funky bass lines.
Don’t believe me? I goddamn triple dare you to listen to opener “Head Up High” and not chair dance to that bass-line. It’s like Daft Punk but even thicker, calling back to the heyday of the group and their vision of futuristic, popular funk. Move on after that to “Phantom Racer” (featuring none other than The Protomen) and its 80’s rock lines, all David Hasselhoff glory and cheese, and see for yourself if the incredible guitar solo doesn’t move you. Maybe, if you’re still somehow not convinced, you could end up on “Starlight Brigade” and the full delivery of the TWRP sound on this album crystallized into an expansive and powerful sci-fi caper. And then, of course, listen to the full thing and get funky; the right kind of funky, the kind that kicks you in the ass to be better to yourself and others around you. Together, through time.