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Smart and fun

Swim
Swim
By Rippopotamus

2 Funky Intl.: 1997

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This review first appeared in the July 4, 1997 issue of the North County Times.

Punk funk. That about sums it up. Hard-edged house music. Cake with more pop on the bass and tighter horns. The energy of Parliament with the polish of the Ohio Players with the instrumental chops of the Tower of Power. George Clinton meets Sid Vicious meets Frank Zappa.

Before we get into some weird analogy matching Mike Tyson and Marlo Thomas, let's slow down and point out that three years after their national debut, "Butter," Rippopotamus is not only still intact, but this release is even harder-driven than their last. This octet from Boston is as entertaining as they are intelligent. It's art, it's jazz, it's club-mix dance music.

The main thing is these guys can play. The guitarist, Dainis, could front any heavy metal band you care to name. The horns could sit in with Tower of Power, no questions asked. The songs are catchy and melodic, if oddly named ("Buckle My Shoe With Your Grill").