Edinburgh based funk rockers Barbe Rousse have knocked it out the park with their latest EP “Factory Settings”.  Demonstrating their experimental tendencies and incredible ability to smash through genre boundaries, this release is a statement; these guys are not afraid to mix it up a bit and funk your mind up while they are at it.

“Factory Settings” is a cocktail of psychedelic vibes laced with funky guitar riffs, classical piano, slick synth tones, and groovy beats, resulting in an explosion of sounds, styles, and emotions which is really exciting.

It’s like a fine dining experience, consisting of 5 courses that each bring a unique flavour. Your starter is the title track of the EP, which starts with a 4 count and is preceded with what feels like a punch to the throat and then you are in.  Wah and distorted guitars dominate this track with a fantastically funky main riff which is countered with a cheeky off-beat/upstroke rhythm guitar giving the track cool ska/funk feel.  The track then takes dips and turns, dramatic pauses, and epic choruses always keeping you on your toes moving phase to phase seamlessly.

Your next serving is “Foolin’ Myself Again”, which draws you in with an intriguing change in sound from the previous track with spacey synth sounds creating a mellower aroma to the track. As it builds, more layered delayed guitars begin to dual; adding more textures and really starting to set the scene, but then… they lift the lid and reveal that signature funky sound with a wicked rhythmic guitar riff. What I loved about this track was the vocal melody, very cleverly constructed by lead singer Alasdair Kelly. Kelly hugs and follows the guitar riff creating a tight rhythmic sensation to the vocal which is countered by a second vocal track in a call and response fashion. By the time the chorus rolls around, we are in full-blown stadium rock mode. Similarly to the first track on the EP, this track takes some twists and turns but I don’t want to give too many spoilers.

“All of My Time” introduces us to a whole new cuisine, with an intro that would take you back to the mid-’70s, leading you into a dreamy and melancholy track. This is definitely a highlight on the EP for me as it really shows the diversity these guys have in their repertoire. By the time I made it to this point in the EP I realised these guys were something else.

You are then transported to the West Coast of the states on “Fall Guy”, I couldn’t help but reminisce on my time road tripping the U.S. this track just took me right back to rolling down the 101 in California. The guys swap out their signature wah and heavy distortion for slick clean and acoustic guitar sounds, and the song just rolls along with some seriously chilled surf vibes.

Just in case you were missing those psychedelic grooves, don’t worry, the last track “Apples and Oranges” serves up a slice of funk/rock pie for dessert to finish you off. The cherry on top of this track has got to be the bluesy classic rock guitar solo, I was air-guitaring along the whole way.

These guys are incredibly talented and the production of this EP is absolutely outstanding. I look forward to seeing and hearing more from them in the future. If you like good quality guitar music and you’re looking for something a little different I highly recommend these guys.

Check out “Factory Settings” on Spotify below:

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