I spent years digging through crates in moldy backrooms, used bookstores and huge record conventions. I spent so much time looking backwards for my soul and funk fix that I missed the earliest days of the revival we are currently enjoying. It helped that vinyl’s own resurgence began pushing used record prices into the stratosphere. With the cost of used vinyl making less sense to me each day, I found myself looking at new music.
Third Man Records, Ubiquity, Secret Stash and Daptone all made me a loyal follower but it is Colemine Records that excites me. Terry Cole and company understand what vinyl and music enthusiasts like myself want. Great music by talented bands, mastered perfectly and delivered using the highest quality vinyl, jackets and covers. Offering special editions, gets the collector’s heart racing, which explains why you need to be fast on the trigger when new releases are announced.
Even with all I love about Colemine, in the end, it all comes down to the music and once again, they deliver with Pushing Fire, the third album from soul powerhouse, Soul Scratch. Pushing Fire was my introduction to the band and I can’t wait to go back and see what I have missed, because this band is on fire!
Pushing Fire opens with the driving , ‘Pacified’, a call for action in a world where watching from the sidelines has become the norm. We are content in our consumerism and Dale Spollett just called us out on it with a vocal passion few could achieve.
Dale’s voice could easily be the power behind most bands by itself but Soul Scratch has a horn section that not only chases his voice, they push him ever forward with their tightly focused playing while keeping him close with enveloping melodies. All this is build on top of the super tight rhythm section, an endless source of killer backfills, flourishes and funky bass lines.
Pushing Fire isn’t all politicised, it weaves around songs of love, like ‘The Road Looks Long’ and Kiss Me In the Morning’, but the band’s real mission is to make you shake your booty on the dance floor. ‘Odessa Heat’ and ‘Empty’ are both barn burners that pull at your boogie shoes from beginning to end.
Soul Scratch are a worthy addition to Colemine’s already impressive stable. I expect more greatness from both the label and the band. Pushing Fire is a masterpiece that hints at a soulful greatness yet to come.