We gave it an A-
Now that punk-funk outfits are all the rage, maybe it’s time for the Royal Crescent Mob to get their due. Since the mid-’80s, these Columbus, Ohio, goofballs have been doling out a mutant mix of snaky funk-guitar riffs, blues harmonica, white rap vocals, and bubble-gum dumbness on choogling albums like 1987’s Omerta and ’89’s Spin the World. Their fourth, Midnight Rose’s, presents them in the toughest light yet; the group has never slammed harder than they do on ”Big Mistake” or the album’s first single, ”Konk.” But what continues to distinguish the Mob from their campier peers is their charm. Songs like ”Woodsnake” and the marble-mouthed marriage proposal ”I’m Sayin”’ are friendlier, looser, and warmer than anything by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Faith No More. Royal Crescent Mob isn’t what you’d call deep in the lyrics department: Most of these songs are simple stomps built around phrases like ”How do you like them apples now?” or ”It’s a pretty good life.” But by keeping one foot in the garage and another in the disco, the Royal Crescent Mob lets the music and spirit do most of the talking.