This is a review of "In Modo Di Funk" recorded by Mr Charming. The review was written by Richard Garnett in 2004.
Funk? That's the question isn't it!? Why funk? Is there something in the genes of white 16-18 year-olds, who when forming a non-"rock" band makes them think "I know, funk"? There's so many of these CDs that crop up it's spooky - bedroom recordings of weedy white man beats with bass that sounds like a wet fart and a million miles from Earth, Wind & Fire.
At the very least Mr Charming try to dirty it up a bit and do their level best to try and throw the odd curve ball - usually achieved with sweeping nasty distortion.
The most evident issue with Mr Charming is vocals, every song screams "the lead singer is flat stop the tape". It wouldn't cure all of Mr Charming's problems but it would be a start. Still never stopped Ian Brown, though he does have rather expensive auto-tuners at his disposal.
Ironically the band are at their most inventive with least funky "Pillars and Posts on a Roman Hill" which almost hints at Ride's early vocal work. For the rest of the show, poor lyrics (kindly listed in the sleeve), thin production and stuttery playing from just about everyone adds up to a noble attempt and little more.
The band clearly have ideas beyond their genre and some more hard work, musical exploration and experience should see them flourish.