Sea of Noise — St. Paul & the Broken Bones

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listen-sea-of-noiseSweet vintage Alabama soul is coming down the tracks with a full-blown steam engine packed with lush horns, funky break-back beat percussion and grooves that would make the night shifters (Marvin Gaye and Jackie Robinson) feel better about clocking out early. The sophomore record from the Birmingham octet St. Paul & the Broken Bones, appropriately titled Sea of Noise, brings heat, optimism and a full glass of funky soul.

Much like their 2014 debut, Half the City, St. Paul & the Broken Bones have mastered the art of preserving the rhythm and blues riffs and puffs of the soaring ’60s and smooth ’70s with a revival of the doo-wop rooted in the late ’50s, all the while enveloping an infectious wall of lush strings and shag-worthy horns.

Sea of Noise beaks the sophomore slump with the gospel-esque and crescendo-ing cinematic, “Crumbling Light Posts (Pt1)” which is a reoccurring theme throughout the record. Notable tracks are the click-popping-funky “Flow with it (You Got Me Feeling Like),” a very Otis Redding “Sanctify” and the surf-grooving “La Bruit.”

This is the perfect record for that road trip to the mountains, last jaunt to the beach or Saturday morning tub scrubbing. Tip: Go see these guys live.

- Chris Rucker