XOTIC YEYO – Album Review: “Chocolate Decadence”

Chocolate Decadence

Xotic Yeyo is an entertaining band with a cool name, and they’re bound and determined to get our asses on the dance floor with their funky psychedelic rock grooves. The Miami-based threesome consists of Stu Sauce on guitar and lead vocals, Rod Reiter on bass and backing vocals, and Cody Orange on drums. Their upbeat sound is influenced by funk greats like Parliament, Curtis Mayfield, Average White Band, Prince, Gil Scott Heron, Phish, Primus and Jamiroquai, among others.

The guys dropped their debut EP Down 2 Funk in November 2016, which I reviewed, and are now back with a full-length album Chocolate Decadence, featuring 10 tracks guaranteed to funk you up! (The three original tracks from Down 2 Funk are included on Chocolate Decadence.) The artwork for both their EP and album are pretty risqué, and a good indication of their playful attitude and approach to their music: don’t take yourself too seriously, let loose, and have a good time.

Xotic Yeyo

That’s immediately evident on the zany opening track “Heyo Yeyo Mr. Snowman.” It’s a humorous take on a Christmas holiday song, with silly lyrics sung by Stu’s grainy vocals, but when the guys lay down some funky grooves, it all works. And it goes without saying that the video would be as crazy as the song, with a Black Santa passing out small gift boxes filled with snow – a precious commodity in South Florida where it never snows. (Interestingly, both ‘yeyo’ and ‘snow’ are slang for cocaine, but I’m sure it’s meant only as a pun in the video.)

One of the things I really like about Xotic Yeyo is how their songs sound like they’re being played live. On many of their tracks, they launch into what seem like mini jam sessions, giving them a spontaneous lo-fi vibe that sounds fresh and never over-produced. Some great examples of this can be found on tracks like “You, Me & the Funk,” with it’s tongue-in-cheek lyrics “A ménage a trois out on this dance floor. / Gonna funk so hard, you’ll never funk no more.”

Another is Disco Zombies,” an infectious earworm with great guitar riffs and jazzy grooves set to a catchy dance beat. Stu sings of the perils of looking for romance on the dance floor: “Fall in love on the dance floor with disco zombies that take control. Fall in love on the dance floor, they bite your neck and they suck your soul.” And one of the best is “Trip the Lights,” a six and a half minute long funk fest. I love Stu’s wobbly distorted guitar riff that continues throughout the song, backed by Rod’s funky bass and Cody’s strutting drums and crashing cymbals.

The guys take a mellower turn on “Love Triangle,” a pleasing track with a laid back R&B/hip hop tempo. Stu’s guitar work is terrific, and nicely complemented by Rod’s smooth bass line and Cody’s cool percussion. Stu’s gentler vocals sound really nice on this track, especially when harmonizing with Rod’s backing vocals.

The guys sing about who they are and what they do on the delightfully funky “Mothership,” which I think should have been the first track on the album. The band’s funky style is in full swing on this track, with Stu’s awesome guitar riffs in perfect rhythmic harmony with Rod’s funked-up bass. Stu’s quirky, rapid-fire vocals inject a playful hip-hop energy that makes this a fantastic tune. The song’s video shows the guys performing the song and cavorting with friends, clearly enjoying what they’re doing and proving they’re all about having fun and wanting their listeners and fans to have fun too.

Catch Xotic Yeyo at one of these upcoming shows:

Apr 19     Dada – Delray Beach, FL 
Apr 27     Kilted Mermaid – Vero Beach, FL
May 17    Orange Blossom Jamboree – Brooksville, FL 
May 18    The Warrior –  Tallahassee, FL

Connect with the band:  Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Stream their music:  Spotify / Apple Music
Chocolate Decadence may be purchased through this site:  http://music.jamdiggy.com/music/1353476855/chocolate-decadence-xotic-yeyo

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