INFECTIOUS GROOVES were the soundtrack for many nights of chaos and mischief in my high school years. In fact, there was one occasion where I was asked to leave the classroom after telling a substitute teacher that my name was Aladdin Sarsippius Silamanagic Jackson the third. If you’ve ever listened to an Infectious Grooves album, you know exactly who I’m talking about. If not, shame on you – and for the record, I did leave the room, but never got in trouble.
After many years without a ‘Grooves fix, the band is back with a revamped lineup, and to celebrate they’ve released a new double-album, FUNK IT UP & PUNK IT UP: LIVE IN FRANCE ’95. Recorded off the soundboard by soundman Tom Abraham, the live album was released devoid of any alterations to the original sound, producing a rare nugget of awesome.
Present on the recording are the original Infectious Grooves lineup of Mike Muir (Suicidal Tendencies), Robert Trujillo (later with Ozzy Osbourne, now with Metallica), Dean Pleasants (Suicidal Tendencies), Brooks Wackerman (Bad Religion) and Dave Nassie (former No Use For A Name; current Bleeding Through). But the ‘Grooves are only on the second disc… with CYCO MIKO (featuring the same lineup) presented on the first disc. The entire band pulled double-duty for their ’95 European Tour.
Reflecting the title, the first set is straight-up California punk rock – a fast-paced eight-song affair that feels like it’s over before it even started. The second set brings the funk, with 16 glorious tracks of groovalistic jams that will still make your booty move 15 years later.
I was never as into the Cyco Miko stuff as much as I was Infectious Grooves or Suicidal Tendencies, so I’ll say that for all those that were there when the Groove’s first hit the scene, LIVE IN FRANCE is a must-own. For those unfamiliar, it’s a great place to jump-start your journey into the back catalogue of one of the most innovative and original bands of the 1990’s along with one of their less-funkin’, more-punkin’ alter egos.
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars