CBDB's 'Out Of Line' Proves To Be The Perfect Summer Release June 21, 2018 22:22
Words by Taylor Pack: Live & Listen
Photos by Craig Baird: Home Team Photography
With the release of their third album to date, Out of Line, CBDB continues to impress us beyond expectations. The 5-piece band from Tuscaloosa takes the success of their sophomore album, Joyfunk is Dead, and builds directly on top of where they left off. The latest release is a more concise and assertive effort that showcases their abilities as not only master tunesmiths but also brilliant lyricists.
Go see CBDB live, and the musicianship and synergy is undeniable, but what is truly impressive with Out of Line is the band’s ability to create a collection of songs that speak for themselves. Out of the seven tracks and just over 30 minutes of music that make up the album, there isn’t a single weak moment. In fact, the entire thing is exceptionally strong from start to finish. Initially, one of the greatest factors that jumps out is the giant leap in production from previous albums, and rightfully so. The band recorded Out of Line in Nashville, TN at Zac Brown’s studio, Southern Ground, with the help of producer Dan Davis.
Thematically the band seems to be extending a bridge to its growing fanbase. The leadoff track “Patterns” is a reminder that despite their rising popularity, these guys are no different than you or me. They remain susceptible to the mundane ebb and flow of daily life that we all occasionally fall victim to: “Simple repetitions / Carve lasting grooves in your day-to-day” and encourage us to rise above what makes us comfortable and follow our passions: “Break free from the sequence / Choose your path, don’t neglect the signs.” Words we all need to hear at some point in our lives.
Music fans who get their rocks off at live shows know that once the band strikes up, it’s not about what you know, but what you feel. When the groove sets and people begin to move, it doesn’t matter if you are familiar with the material or not, but more importantly, understanding how to tap into the spirit in the air. “Mumble Bull” is evidence that these guys are not just musicians, but fans as well and understand the concert experience from the audience’s perspective. “We mumble bull through lines we know/ We close our eyes and wind up home / We don’t ever miss a beat / I got my people here with me / The nonsense still lands note for note / We close our eyes, inside we know.” As frontman Cy Simonton sings these words, we are assured CBDB is no stranger to the concept of feeling at home in a crowd full of strangers.
With “Unintentional Liar,” and in classic CBDB fashion, the album is kicked up a notch. Vocal harmonies quickly give way to anxious, hard-hitting guitar and synth riffs, alongside lyrics that reflect the frustration of online culture and the inability to decipher fiction from reality, as technology becomes more and more today’s primary source of information and communication. “Opelika Yella” is a hilarious tune about a misunderstanding in an Alabama gas station (I mean, what could have possibly gone wrong) and also presents listeners with the longest track on the album; clocking in at just over five minutes. The album version features a very brief foray into improvisational jam, but in the live setting, it is already serving as a major jam vehicle.
Out of Line begins to dig into its second side with the enormously catchy track “Unaware.” This track softens the overall mood a bit while lyrically dealing with the complexities of relationships amongst loved ones and friends and the various shortcomings that are inherently present within us all. "Unaware" also features a meatier midsection with nice solos coming from Kris Gottlieb on guitar and Glenn Dillard on sax.
“Fine Line” has the whole band really pouring in instrumentally on this heavy attacking rager of a song that lyrically covers exactly that, a rager, and the heavy toll that it can dish out. The last track on the album, “Feel So Far,” gives listeners one last chance to really shake their bones, featuring Dillard playing a Hammond organ that at one time belonged to the late southern rock legend Gregg Allman. Guest vocalist Maureen Murphy, best known for her work with STS9, even lends a hand on harmony vocals during the closing chorus of the final track.
Out of Line raises the bar for CBDB, and as the temperature outside heats up, it should prove to be the perfect summer soundtrack; whether you’re out on the water, a long road trip, or at a late-night party in your best friend’s living room.
Stream Out of Line via Spotify here: