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Monday, May 19

Album Review: Henry + The Invisibles - Onemanphunkband EP - 2010 Henry Roland Gutierrez

Henry + The Invisibles
Onemanphunkband EP
℗ 2010 Henry Roland Gutierrez 

The cleverly named Henry + The Invisibles is the moniker of an Austin, Texas-based one-man band, featuring Henry Roland. Roland loops and layers vocal harmonies, funk guitar, groovin' bass, soulful keyboards and powerful percussion to create original high energy dance music. I could have sworn Henry + The Invisibles was a full five-piece band before I read the bio. Roland’s debut 'Onemanphunkband' EP is a collection of funk tunes that highlights all of his many talents. Also, not only did Roland play all the instruments on the EP, but he produced and engineered the project as well! The EP begins with “My Love is 4 U,” a light-hearted tune with a bouncy bass groove and wailing vocals. The song has a real soul and gospel feel to it. Roland also lays down an incredibly emotional keyboard solo. “Soul Shaker” follows up with a traditional, laid back, straight-up funk tune. The full bass groove and tight drum beat complement Roland’s passionate vocals, and a quirky but masterful guitar solo really makes this track stand out. Next, “Sing A Song” is a chill, feel-good song with funky bass pops. The lyrics of this song promote unity, singing, “If we all can sing a song, well why then, we can't all get along?” Roland breaks out the wah pedal for a funky guitar solo to round off this beautiful tune. “Up & Over” picks the pace back up with another full-on funk groove. This one will really get you moving, as the driving, syncopated bass lines are complemented by funky rhythm chords and stinging lead guitar. “As It Is” is a slow, primarily vocal tune. This track really shows off Roland’s wide vocal range. The song’s arrangement around the keyboard solo is absolutely breathtaking. After a humorous intro, “Phunky Cup” introduces some horn arrangements around a fat dance groove. The message in this track definitely sums up the entire theme of the EP, singing, “Wassup, wassup? Been drinkin’ from the phunky cup!” 
Overall, this EP is an impressive project from an obviously talented individual. Basically putting this entire project together from start to finish, Henry Roland seems to be on a mission to single handedly bring funk to the masses. The name of this project really says it all.  Roland truly is a one-man funk band, and a damn good one at that! I expect we will see a lot more from him in the future, and I’ll bet we'll be seeing Henry + The Invisibles start to pop up on more and more festival lineups. 
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Words: Ragin' Randy Harris
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