The Ninth, Olympic Dream Nightmare, 2020

the ninth - olympic dream nightmareI guess that title and artwork can only hint at one thing, the 1994 skating controversy between Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding. Wrapped in a funk rock concept, the bands guitarist and principal songwriter Ben Halperin explains “among other things, ‘Nancy versus Tonya’ is really about dreams versus the reality that dreams rarely come true”.

Being a concept album with musical roots, sometimes there are songs within a song. And since the band manage to melt rock with funk and soul, while also utilizing various lead voices (male and female), the result is diverse but always melodic. Having a horn section only adds more colour to the proceedings. A bit of a mix from early The Tubes with The Blues Brothers, yet with ladies on the mic.
The result is an album that not only showcases a lot of talent within the band, it also means we have an album that gets better with every play.

In a time where lots of popular music is rather bleak and formulaic, a band that is able to shine from both a lyrical as a music point of view, deserves to find a large audience. Bravo!