By Hailey Nuthals, Arts Editor
Two years after their most recent release, Asheville, North Carolina’s The Get Right Band have returned with a new full-length. “Who’s In Charge?” picks up the fun right where the funk-rock trio left off, in the midst of swung rhythms and undeniably apt lyrics.
The collection begins with the title track, and poses a question that has been echoing under the surface of our current political climate for what seems like ages. And wouldn’t we all like to know who, indeed, is the boss around here? Musically, it’s a perfect introduction to the album: mellow in a serious way, and serious in a mellow way.
“Requiem for the Chemical Memory” almost sounds like Anthony Kiedis jumped in on vocals. At least, it does until the guitar solo, which is decidedly harder than anything the Red Hot Chili Peppers have popularized in recent years. Vocalist and guitarist Silas Durocher bounces seamlessly between surf rock, reggae, and classic riffs in a mashup of effortless composition.
“Beginner’s Love” feels like the joking ode to Netflix-and-chill, or at least the impulses behind it. It’s fun and silly, and a beautiful ode to its theme, with some joking brass orchestration in the bridge and a melody you can just tell Dorocher sung while smiling. Its followup, “Belt Loops,” is a perfectly sexy companion, with the lines “I’ve got my fingers in your belt loops / I’ve got my fingers in your pockets… I can’t get close enough.” It’s up-tempo, smooth, and frankly alluring.
The album moves on to“Munitions Man,” which screams – or rather, wahs – of reggae influences. The nearly 7-minute jam feels deceptively chill for the threatening refrain “get back Mr. Munitions man.”
“Motivation” recalls all those songs in the late 2000’s that were so perfect to blast out your car windows as you drove down the country highway, with lyrics that are once again much less calm than the musical setting would suggest. It’s a simple song of self-acceptance during a harder time. It may be seemingly unobtrusive in its style, but the capacity for greatness lurks under a Red-Hot-Chili-Peppers-sound-a-like vibe.
“Treat You Like” gives the love song that should be at least a contender for song of the summer. “Interlude” follows and is the sort of guitar fooling that you’d actually want to see live; it’s less an interlude and more a meditation – a break from lyrics, but not from introspection. The rest of the album continues to expand on the theme of love and longing, and it becomes clear that if one wanted to, it would be pretty easy to see that the love interest that so drives each song is, in fact, who’s in charge.
For all that the album is a trio of white (or white-passing) men making music with heavy (heavy) influences from black genres (ie. reggae and funk), they’re doing a wonderful homage, and have managed to make a sound of their own that may not be distinct from the other genres, but is at least distinct from other bands. It’s an enjoyable listen through and through, and gives the listener the chance to contemplate without sinking into a depression. In summary: the Get Right Band got it right.