The Staxx Brothers 

We Are the Blaxtones

The swaggering, greased up sound of this Seattle outfit hits like an uppercut from a 300-pound bar bouncer with "SOUL" tattooed across his knuckles. The Staxx Brothers uses an afro pick to comb through retro funk and rock influences, gathering ingredients to add to a groovalicious stew already boiling over with intermittent hip-hop vocals and ripping harmonica breaks.

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Despite the band's constant genre manipulation, the sweaty sexuality dripping from lyrics on tracks like the self-explanatory "G-Spot" is classic soul material. Add the salacious female voices of back-up singers "the Staquelettes" and you've got an album that would definitely make Marvin Gaye blush. Throughout the album, powerhouse frontman Davin Stedman howls like a whiskey-drunk Mick Jagger, unafraid to explore the full extent of his range in order to get his Motown influences out.

The emphasis here is on providing a high-energy good time, and that's clearly the band's strong point. In fact, the only weak link is "Oh Carolina," a slow, countrified tune that's simply not fun enough to be as immature as it is. That track aside, We Are the Blaxtones delivers a groove thicker than Isaac Hayes' gold chains.

The Staxx Brothers plays the Top Hat Thursday, March 31, at 10 PM. $5.

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