Live At Berkeley Square (Stiff Dog Records)
By: Alex Steininger
Melting Pot blends ska, punk, jazz, and funk to bring you their very own sound that is sure to become ear candy to you. And what better way to experience "The Melting Pot Sound" than live! Stiff Dog Records brings you a live, four song cassette of Melting Pot live at Berkeley Square in California.
Side one contains two songs "Tom Tom" and "Time to Change." "Tom Tom" starts out with the band asking everyone to come up onto the dance floor, and then breaks into the goods. The fast paced ska guitars will get you dancing in no time. Then when they add the funk you can take a break and just sway to the music. Some punk-funk beats will then get you to run around frantically. Then the slide back into ska mode will get you moving, especially when the horns add some spicy jazz for you to nibble on! And then the cycle continues. "Time to Change" starts off with in a jazzy way and then they will throw in some funk with a little bit of heavy metal for you. It's very unappetizing when they do this. It eventually calms down and throws some of the good jazz with ska thrown in at you. The flute also adds a nice touch. But then they go back to the funk and it's not that good. Side two contains the two tracks "Buddhafro" and "My Po' 'lil Bitch." "Buddhafro" is an upbeat ska song with healthy does of funk and punk thrown in. They even add some jazz to the mix to make the song that much better. "My Po' 'lil Bitch" kicks it off with some nice bass, and then goes into ska-punk mode. The chorus is loud and heavy. It quickly jumps back to it's ska-punk surroundings.
The best way to experience music is live, and this tape demonstrates that well. There is so much raw energy on this tape that, most likely, couldn't be put onto a studio album. Sometimes Melting Pot has too much fun on stage and lose themselves, but most of the time they stand pretty tall. I'll give this album an A-. Do yourself a favor and spend $5 to buy this LIMITED EDITION!
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