Qwiksand
"Fellowship of the Groove"

(Planet Squared 2004)Qwiksand - Fellowship of the Groove

You have to give them one thing, Qwiksand are honest about the way they represent themselves. Two titles on the band's sophomore release include the word "groove" while two additional songs are titled "Phunkadelic" and "Superfunk." If you are looking for heavy metal or punk, you may want to look elsewhere. Qwiksand's "The Fellowship of the Groove" is fun, melodic funk and, compared to their debut, presents a more focused sound from this groove band.

After using a seconds long special effects opening track, "The Landing," Qwiksand go straight to the action with the likable "UFO," a riff-reliant mid tempo tune. The softer and more melodic "$20" sees singer Marlon Hawkins' vocals standing out, smooth and just the right compliment to the instrumentation. Rhythmic and offering inviting familiarity, "Beer Goggles" has a bright poppy chorus while, conversely, "Her Eyes" is a weaker moment with a simple and straightforward ballad. "Groove" is engaging with a strong guitar riff and "Concrete Cowboy," poppy and catchy, offers a light, bouncy sound that is more likely to appeal to a wider variety of music fans. Qwiksand show a more dynamic side on "Phunkadelic," offering memorable lyrics and understated but effective guitar and bass riffs, while the lyrically repetitive "Black Hole" includes a nice instrumental section unseen on prior tracks. The album's title track is rhythmic and memorable, stripping down and creating a softer sound with acoustic instruments. "Fellowship of the Groove" also includes a short well timed and executed rap by Hawkins. With a funky riffs and a solid rhythm, "Superfunk" is a simple but strong closer.

Qwiksand have retained their mellow and casual feel while showing off their newly refined and polished sound. "The Fellowship of the Groove" is light and fun with a bright, poppy sound. While the songs are not the most complicated, Qwiksand make their songs very likable and enjoyable. Qwiksand are true to themselves on "The Fellowship of the Groove" and it comes across as such in their music.

B+