Funky, funky music

When the hell did rock music lose its sense of fun?

Sit through a block of nü metal music videos on MTV, and it’s gets pretty damn suffocating hearing how much the world doesn’t understand all these guitar-wiedling, nipple-pierced growlers.

They seriously ought to take the Zoobombs advice: “You need to get mo’ funky”.

And Zoobombs are nothing if not funky.

Put on the band’s newest album in two years, Love Is Funky, and try not to shake your rump during “Funky Movin'”. Impossible, plain impossible.

The last time Zoobombs made a peep in the States — with a pair of albums on the Emperor Jones label — the band’s brand of party funk-rock was appealing, if not a bit burnished.

Then the band signed to major label Toshiba-EMI in Japan, which shut them out of the U.S. since 1999. And that’s a shame.

Love Is Funky shows the band has made a definite leap since its indie days only a scant three years ago. The writing is tighter, the performances more confident, the party vibe so infectous, this disc won’t stop spinning in your player for days.

Even re-recordings of indie staples “Jumbo” and “Mo’ Funky” improve on their originals.

A decent studio budget certainly goes a long way in pumping up Zoobombs’ sound. A distorted, booming bass anchors the communal chants on “Mama, Gimme Ya Hot Hand”. A deeper kick drum on “Jumbo (#2)” gives that song some real guts.

When it’s just the band playing their collective ass off, the results are no less magical. “Love Bomb” and “Use Me” capture an incredibly energetic live feel.

Zoobombs aren’t any less effective when they slow things down. “Modern Creation” and “Like Into the Air (angel, bomb, universe)” are positively gorgeous. (Also check out “Pleasure Drop” from Let It Bomb.)

If Love Is Funky were a movie, reviewers would most likely tag it “the feel-good album of the year”. It’s tough not to listen to Zoobombs, and think life is great.

And it’s not anything lead singers Don or Matta say that rams this point home. “So big, it must be jumbo,” isn’t exactly a life-inspiring line.

No — Zoobombs have such a joy for making music, listeners can feel it in their bones. These four Japanese and two Australian musicians don’t need to rehash metal riffs nor middle class angst.

They just want you to get mo’ funky.