(This is my latest review, as written for http://www.properlychilled.com/)
Torpedo Boyz launch into their second album, "Cum on Feel the Boyz," guilt-free and laughing, saying please enjoy, but don't take us too seriously. A funk, groove-hop sound at its core, Torpedo Boyz squeeze square-peg break beats into Japanese import pop. After a full listen, the tracks fall into two camps: freaky fun dance-worthy, or studio punk-funk that falls short on the Boyz' sophomore effort.
The Torpedo Boyz – Kentastic and Rollin Hand – produce energetic, free-wheel funk that sits low on its haunches, beats you over and over with tight snares and bass lines that kick from terse riffs to electro-pop punk jams.
The Boyz are at their finest when sticking to their guns – producing great funk rock songs that can shimmy in the lounge or jam in the club. "The Disco Song" says it all with melodic strings delivering the highs while quick snares and a funky bass line create a foundation for Daft Punk style samples. Another track, "The Next Station Is: Shibuya," further showcases Torpedo Boyz style. The tune builds on a resonating electric keyboard, layered over funky wah'ed out guitar.
Though I can't understand a word of "Curry Rice," it's another tune that hones in on Torpedo Boyz roots. The song fuses funk with kinetic pop and Japanese lyrics that could be the soundtrack to "Ocean's 11" if it were an Asian Cult Film.
These tracks deliver, but others scream "where'd the creativity go!?" "Around Da Corner" begins the puzzle, starting simply enough with a basic bass and top-hat drum combo. And here starts the trend – lyrics enter and immediately are the centerpiece of the song. Except they lack originality or wit. Suddenly the base of the song is the vocal delivery and the un-interesting story. The track underneath is mixed well, using a sitar and horns to add substance, but the lyrics are too distracting.
This continues on "Where is Tony Masao?" and "I Can't Make It On Time." The tracks distance themselves from Torpedo Boyz funk and introduce a completely different pop-punk sound that features, again, lyrics that just aren't interesting. In "Tony Masao" a redundant punk guitar frames a gangster wannabe who goes missing, and we're glad he stays lost. "I Can't Make It On Time" again holds the lyrics as the centerpiece of the song. Studio pop creeps in both the lyrics and generic punk guitar – and we wonder if this is an ill-conceived effort to appeal to mainstream tweens.
Torpedo Boyz excel when they are perfecting their style – funk and eclectic sounds that resonate in dancehalls across the land. "Cum on Feel the Boyz" has its good tracks, but gets muddled in pop-punk experiments. ~ Erik Dawson