If you’ve ever seen Brownout in concert, you quickly realized that the offshoot group of Grupo Fantasma has serious funk chops. The Austin-based instrumental funk band’s prior releases, including Homenaje (2007), Aguilas (2009) and Oozy (2012), showcase great versatility and writing skills, as well.
Never seeming to stand in one place for too long, Brownout is now set to release a full length album featuring their take on Black Sabbath classics. Luckily, they have given listeners a funky two-song advance sampler for the June release now, kicking off with a horn-driven interpretation of “Hand Of Doom,” from 1970’s Paranoid.
Brownout brings in Alex Maas to deliver a driving, desolate and convincing vocal. The results are striking. Bassist Greg Gonzalez pumps out a solid rock backbeat, yet adds enough spice when needed. Beto Martinez and Adrian Quesada don’t attempt to repeat the original’s guitar madness, but playfully work through the heavy lead and rhythm parts like one well-oiled machine. Brownout’s three piece horn section isn’t left out of the fun, contributing to the bedrock back line defense. Drummer John Speice pounds the trap set with finesse and power, leaving just enough room for the arsenal of percussion.
No, this isn’t your father’s Black Sabbath — and that’s OK. “Hand of Doom,” and the b-side “The Wizard,” just build anticipation for the full-blown Brown Sabbath album. Well, and a desire to catch Brownout on stage, of course.