With Electric Forest only two weeks away, headliners The String Cheese Incident have just released an excellent surprise EP titled “Sound Lab Volume 1.” This free release will be the first of what will surely be an exciting series of new String Cheese Incident music. The band promises more releases of this kind in the near future.
The three song set gets started with a Michael Kang number “Believe.” I immediately get a fun summer vibe from this track as it starts with a funky synth riff and some upbeat backing vocals. “Believe” then gives way to an anthemic chorus that I promise will be stuck in your head all day. Kang proceeds to do what he does best: shreds a nasty guitar solo that will leave your head spinning.
The String Cheese Incident are never ones to shy away from their musical influences as “Believe” and second track “Sweet Spot” showcase their appreciation of pop funk in the vein of groups like Kool and the Gang. At the helm producing the EP is former Talking Heads member Jerry Harrison whose influence is heard throughout the release. I particularly hear a lot of the Talking Heads 1988 album “Naked” throughout “Sound Lab Volume 1.”
Lastly we hear from Billy Nershi on the third track “Down A River.” One of the things I love about String Cheese is their Beatles-esque way of giving each group member a voice and getting to hear all of their different perspectives throughout a live show or album. Here Billy leads a more traditional style tune that calms things down after the first two upbeat tracks. This sing along is a perfect send off to the EP and will leave fans pumped for Electric Forest and the ensuing summer tour! New York City fans will not want to miss String Cheese Incident’s stop at Brooklyn’s iconic Kings Theater on August 13th and 14th.