The Big Takeover | Spilling Water
(Big Takeover Productions)
As in many sectors of life, our COVID era forced a kind of suspended animation onto the world of music, with more than a year’s worth of cancelled live shows and delayed releases. From New Paltz-based sextet the Big Takeover’s fifth full-length release have been trickling out in the form of singles since late 2019. Arriving on New Year’s Day, 2021, Spilling Water’s baker’s dozen tracks are an affirmation of the band’s strengths. Riding on Jamaican-born singer Nee Nee Rushie’s confident and dynamic lead vocals, the band seamlessly blends the genres of reggae, ska, rocksteady, and retro American rhythm and blues. Among the many high-energy, horn-driven songs, one of the slower numbers stands out. “The Beach” begins with a sample of crooning seagulls and envelops the listener in a spacious, reverbed soundscape. Rushie soulfully sings, “Could this be for real / Or am I swimming in a dream / Will someone wake me up?”
The title track features the funky backbeat of Manuel Quintana (drums/percussion), punctuated by the equally percussive horn section of Chase Montrose (saxophone) and Andrew Vogt (trombone). The featured single, “Shy,” has the jaunty confidence and layered, ringing production values of a classic mid-’60s Motown track. Garnering enthusiastic reaction from their live shows, the band has held their own while sharing stages with legends such as Toots and the Maytals, the Wailers, and the Skatalites. Spilling Water will prime long-time fans and newcomers for the day these songs can be heard live and loud!