Sound: Where has the funk gone? Nowhere at all, if Mike Muir has anything to say about it. Formed from the 90's line-up of Suicidal Tendencies and some other bloke, Infectious Grooves as a whole is designed to be some fun that can be thoroughly enjoyed by anyone.
It's pretty obvious if you listen to any track from any of their albums that the thrash sound from ST has made up a majority of the sound but its heavily counter-balanced by a nutter with a wah-wah and jazz guitar (not Kirk Hammet... ) and truly makes it a metal album and not some RHCP knock off. The bass is a notable feature, as always with funk bands and is played by none other than Rob Trujillo who uses the slap bass like it was an extra limb. The guitarists aren't really slouches but I wouldn't exactly call their riffing "technical" or complex even if it is jazz influenced. The solos however, are pretty damn funky. There is some criticism of this thrash blend style (even if it is missing the point) and that it is that the Slayer riffs that appear in songs like "Die Lika Pig" do not fit at all with the jazz guitar and funky bass. // 8
Lyrics: Mike Muir is renowned for being either totally serious with his lyrics or a total joker and Infectious Grooves is entirely the latter. His vocal style doesn't really have a big range, he sings as loud (and high) as he can which actually fits the funking, light-hearted style of the Infectious Grooves.
Lyrically is where it's all fun. This example of "Violent And Funky":
Sticks and stones may break some bones but a.357
gonna blow your damn head off
You take the pen and I'll take the sword, you can write
Some sh*t till I cut your f---in' head off
Shows that the whole theme is just for laughs. Another example of this humour is in "Cousin Randy" which features some of the most hilarious dialogue ever recorded. Obviously, Mike Muir has the clarity to spread the hilarity when you listen to it and if a venue such as Hellfest can have it on the rota then surely everyone can enjoy the fun... Right? // 8
Overall Impression: Well, musically you could take every funk rock band and try to scoop some influence out of Infectious Grooves but only Suicidal Tendencies really has a close sound to these clowns which isn't surprising.
Songs to look out for: "Violent And Funky" has a brilliantly groovy bass riff and addictive lyrics so its not hard to really like that song. "Groove Family Cyco" is a bit ominous in its style but the later riffs and totally random noise effects make it a trip through a haunted house at a fairground ride. "Die Lika Pig" has an obvious police = dead theme and the guitar parts are on 80's wah-riff overdrive and is taken from the perspective from some South American criminal (the word 'puta' is used a lot which is a common Hispanic swear word). "Do what I tell ya!" is a song going against the RATM song "Killing In The Name" which is not really much more than Mike Muir singing "Do what I tell ya, OH YEEEEAH" and generally making a (somewhat serious point) on RATM's corporate popularity. "Cousin Randy" is absolutely hilarious no matter who's listening. "Made It" is the most jazzy song and features some sort of soul singer chorus in the intro and some relaxing free jazz before alternating between "happy" riffs and jazz exchanges and ending with some stereotypical "crazy Afro-American priest proclamation" style vocals.
If you're looking for a band to have some fun to, whatever sort of fun that may be, Infectious Grooves offer more than enough enjoyment for anyone with a sense of humour. // 9