If you’re familiar with the urban Los Angeles music scene (not to be confused with the far more esoteric rural Los Angeles music scene), you may already be familiar with Thundercat; the bass virtuoso and Weird Twitter dilettante who was all overFlying Lotus, Kendrick Lamar and Kamasi Washington’s latest albums. Aside from lending his talents to jazz, hip-hop and experimental pursuits, Thundercat has graced releases by crossover thrash veterans Suicidal Tendencies and recently released his third studio album Drunk.
The record leans into the oddball-soul sound Thundercat so carefully cultivated throughout his first two albums, and it succeeds across the board. Drunk touches on subjects ranging from systematic discrimination and alcoholism to weeaboo culture, friend zones and cats, and rounds itself out with a hearty dollop of touching love songs. Despite the lyrical breadth, Thundercat approaches many of the tracks with a detachment which is concerning and amusing in equal measure. As for the music, its parts evoke soft rock, new wave, jazz-fusion and electro-soul, whilst retaining a sense of originality and individuality it would be hard to attribute to many of Thundercat’s contemporaries. His music is rarely the club-invigorating brand of soul proffered by a good deal of modern mainstream artists, but the debut of Drunk at Thekla should be simultaneously sobering and intoxicating.