Sugar Free Allstars ‘All on a Sunday Afternoon' (CD/DVD) (Wiser Music)
Sugar Free Allstars mix old-school R&B grooves, child-friendly melodies and parent-approved messages into a tuneful confection with “All on a Sunday Afternoon.”
With their third “family funk” album, it's clear the Oklahoma City kindie rockers (kindie stands for indie rock for kids, for those not in the know) have honed their sound without polishing away the youthful spontaneity or bluesy grit.
Lead singer/songwriter/keyboardist Chris “Boom!” Wiser and drummer/backup vocalist Rob “Dr. Rock” Martin channel classic Stax Records and Motown on album opener “Gotta Get Up,” featuring Jack Forman and Shine on backing vocals; the danceable “Ice Cream Truck,” a sound effects- and organ-heavy homage to the favorite sweet treat; and the bouncy “Hiccup,” which explains the science behind one of our oddest bodily functions.
The duo goes gospel with “99 Questions,” a nod to childlike curiosity, and recreates the smooth soul of ‘70s R&B ballads with “Ready to Give up Teddy.”
Guitarist Keller Williams helps the Allstars take a funky ride on the “Love Train,” while folk-rock-children's band Trout Fishing in America plays along on the laidback “Sunday Afternoon,” a tribute to simple family times. They Might Be Giants percussionist Marty Beller aids in setting a snappy rhythm for “Put ‘Em Away,” a clean-up song parents are guaranteed to appreciate.
Along with the 10 original tracks, the album features a fun and faithful rendition of Talking Heads' “Stay up Late.”
The CD comes with a 40-minute live concert DVD that was filmed earlier this year at Convergence Collective, and if you look closely, you'll even catch a few glimpses of my little ones and me in the crowd.
— Brandy McDonnell