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The Cool

Climate Control

(independent)

“You Really Don’t Have To Like Me”
Audio

Charleston quintet The Cool’s new studio album is a funky hodge-podge compilation of demos and tracks collected from years in the home studio. Unfortunately, the sound quality is dim, inconsistent, and full of outdated (i.e. ’80s) drum machines and chorus/flange audio effects. Stylistically, things shoot in different directions from song to song. The title track is a finger-snapping doo-wop number. The bristling, rock/reggae opener “Working on the World,” with Fiona Phillips on lead vocals, sounds like a confident power anthem from a Motels or Kim Carnes album. The mellowed-out, congo-tappin’ acoustic tune “The Sky” features guitarist Bill Cool on lead vocals … or is it Dave Mason, or Richard Thompson? The funky, bass-thumpy “You Don’t Have to Like Me” is currently a fan favorite. Altogether, this resembles a semi-pro warm-up session for a serious, more cohesive studio effort. (www.thecool.biz) —T. Ballard Lesemann

The Cool perform on Fri. July 27 at Club H2O.

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Entropy

Crawl

(Funk Shop)

“Shake”
Audio

With tight drums, layers of flanged guitar and bass, and an animated lead man who’s clearly eaten his James Brown/Wheaties, Atlanta band Entropy’s Crawl presents a fairly solid, soulful romp. It’s not what you’d put on to wind down at bedtime — this is heavy-hitting, ass-shakin’ music. Atlanta’s Outkast-led legacy is well-represented as well. Dubs, references to chicken wings, and fake radio station spots liven up the album between the often similar-sounding tracks. The disc is heavy with lead man Rod William’s rhymes, tight in their delivery but perhaps sacrificing some brass section jamming that’s likely a highlight in their live show. In “Another Man’s Woman,” he brags to a husband about how he’s the wife’s “favorite pony, homey,” while five tracks later, “That’s My Woman” warns a competitor that “you’re ’bout to lose some teeth.” The raunchy lyrics are typical rap fare, but work well with a talented backing band that consistently impresses. Calling out the hippies at their shows in “Shake,” Williams says, “Now Frito-Lay your punk ass down.” The lyrics might be sub-par, but the grooves are first-rate. “Put the pick back in your ‘fro, let’s go!” (www.entropyfunk.com) —Stratton Lawrence

Entropy jam it down at the Pour House on Sat. July 21.