Jacksonville, Florida collective Bigfoot Barefoot delivers a blend of Rock, Reggae, and Funk. They have been influenced by acts from Lynard Skynard to Sublime and have created their own genre which they classify as Trader Joes Rock. The band, made up of Frank Zeno (Vocals, Guitar), Justin Hites (Bass) and Ken Bevill ( Percussion, Drums) has already opened for Slightly Stoopid, Bad Brains, The Supervillians, Passafire, The Hip Abbduction, and Alien Ant Farm to name a few. Besides the aforementioned genre description’s it’s difficult to pin-point their sound, which I think is often the trademark of really good bands, even though a lot of labels do sometimes come to mind.
There’s a sort of surf rock sensibility, but it’s a lot more complex than that music usually is. One thing sure is that there is a serious pulse behind their songs, but it’s never antagonistic or forced. The band has a trippy, easy-going funky feel on their self-titled album, but it never feels cheap or chewy.
Lyrically, the songs are pretty profound and tend to be as inscrutable as any verses you might find in any Sublime album. Regardless if the sound is upbeat or down, there’s always an energy driving it that really hooks the ear, making almost every song seem like a contrast of itself – Bigfoot Barefoot are like the sweet and sour chicken of the music world.
Anyway, the point is, it’s an infectious and slippery album. It plays with the mind and heart while refusing to sit still long enough to be pigeonholed. Considering that nowadays cookie-cutter music is pretty much everywhere ad nauseam, it’s a treat to find something so indecipherably beautiful still out there to be enjoyed.
Today, it’s rare to stumble across an album that works on so many levels: musically, lyrically, and overall as an album. Bigfoot Barefoot bring so many sounds to the table that a single would be a redundant vehicle for them. Their tracks shine with so much creative ideas that are woven in pretty much any musical genre one can fit into an album release.
How else would you get such diverse songs as the soulful and funky “Hey Hey” on the same album as the reggae influenced “Badfish”, or the crunchy, upbeat and overdriven “Operator” garnished with a fiery guitar solo and all. Intoxicating, fluid, and haunting, these guys have truly invented their own musical genre, s claimed.
Every time I listen to “Don’t Forget Your Shoes”, I’m reminded of the true power that music possesses. There is no limit to creative expression; only what the imagination can conjure. When an artist channels his or her innermost passions, they craft an aural expression of individuality for the world to behold.
In a time where trends seem to dominate everything, it’s refreshing to hear a band that just does whatever the fuck it wants to. And that’s pretty much what happens here. It’s rare to encounter an album this stylistically eclectic yet so true to the artists’ sense of self.
You can really tell that Bigfoot Barefoot decided to pursue their own curiosity on instead of the neatly laid out path that logically follows trends. Bigfoot Barefoot is not focused on meeting or even exceeding your expectations on this album, they’re vying for intrinsically-sparked creativity and the inventiveness that follows suit. And that is probably more than you were expecting anyway!
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Author: Rick Jamm
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