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June 14, 2024

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Mento Buru
No Dancing Please! (Moon Ska Records)

By: Alex Steininger

The debut CD from California's Mento Buru is a collection of thirteen tracks that show their diverse style. From ska, Latin jazz, reggae, swing, and old R & B they combine it all to form their own unique, original sound.

The CD starts out with "Setbacks." It starts out with very light piano, cool and gentle, and then with a few taps on the drums, everything slides into some danceable tunes. Their unique style will quickly get you dancing, and show you what they are all about. Their horns are very tight and demonstrate great talent. The guitar is infectious from it's very jazzy licks to it's skankable riffs, you'll be dancing all the way through. The vocals are strong, and have their own sound. They don't sound plain and usual, but have their own flavor to them. "Poonanny" has some very flavorful keyboards that carry a strong jazzy feel to them, while the vocals demonstrate a reggae influence. While your dancing you will try and sing along to the songs. They are infectious and fun. "Ain't That Right?" has the Latin feeling underlined throughout the song. The vocals are not as strong as on the other tracks, and are mushy. But that aside, the music will keep your interest. The horns are played with passion, and so are the rest of the instruments. You can swing, sway, and just have a great time during this song. This song would also make a good party song, played during your outside barbecue. "Faraway" is very soulful. It will reach down and make you feel happiness. The guitar keeps your feet moving, and makes you skank along with each strike played on the guitar. The song has a very 60's Motown feeling to it. It's one of those songs you can imagine playing next to the Temptations and others on the classic radio station. "Beer Song" has nothing to do with beer. The songs an instrumental, but it's the kind of song you can imagine hearing in the background as you sip on a tropical drink on some exotic beach on a very lush and beautiful Caribbean Island. Yes, it has very Caribbean feeling to it. Spicy and hot, you'll kick back and just dance crazily to the song. "Pa Pim Pim Pum/Spanish Grease" will take you back to the National Geographics documentary you saw discussing tribes in other nations for the first minute, and then the song will change paces and add the Caribbean feel to your life. Another song you could imagine hearing on the beach, or at a Hawaiian party with a pig roasting in a big pit. "Swank" closes out the CD with some nice ska. You'll finish the CD by skankin' and having a great ol' time.

The Moon Ska information sheet says "Moon Ska Records is proud to release the debut CD from one of California's premier ska bands..." and they aren't kidding. These guys play ska with spice. Hot and tangy, and sure to burn the tongue, these guys serve up a special blend of ska that is sure to please. The music will make you dance and have fun, and will also make you feel warm inside from all the pretty images of islands and tropical drinks that will form. After listening to the CD you might even jump on a plane and get that much needed vacation, bringing along your Mento Buru CD of course! I'll give this CD an A-.

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