After shaking up the Orlando scene with a harder-rocking self-titled debut in '97 and a way-too-short EP in '98, funk-rock-soulsters Kow finally deliver the knock-out punch we've been waiting for. Fat grooves -- like those found on the sexy-romp "Gina" and the breaking-funk of "Wills" -- dominate "12," a superfine collection of vocal and instrumental tracks.
On robust cuts like "Panty Removal" and "Wills," the band flawlessly jumps from down-and-dirty funk to adrenaline-charged jams (and back again). More laid-back tracks like "Voodoo" and "Like a Train" show that the band is equally adept at sonic soft-serve. And almost as a treat, the Kow boys occasionally pull away from a song's structure and embark on a solo-filled, instrumental journey. This is where the heart of the band lies. But singer Anthony Cole's throaty, life-of-the-party delivery adds just the right amount of bad-boy bravado to keep the band from soaring completely into outer space.
On "12," Kow combines top-shelf musicianship and strong songwriting sensibilities with very pleasurable results. Truly satisfying stuff.