Whatever you might expect from Hornbuckle, the band kind of throws a curve ball from the beginning of the album. The first track “Done Fooling Around” really brings Lionize to mind. It’s a melodic fuzzy rock song that will get you grooving and make you feel good.
That feeling continues with the second song “Complicated”. If you only had one word to describe this song, groovy would be a good choice. The guitar in this song has a funky psychedelic feel to it, while the organ provides another layer to the groove. Brian Hornbuckle sings about how things were in the 80s and the lyrics of this song will have particular meaning if you remember having a boombox and sneakers whose laces you didn’t tie.
After the first couple songs, the album takes a turn toward the funky. When you hear “Pontiac Hearse”, don’t be surprised if you find yourself shaking your backside. The bass line will do that to you for sure. Then the organ comes in and while it doesn’t necessarily sound like Dr. John, it has the same kind of funky groove you’d expect from the good Doctor. And if you think that song has a funky bass line, just wait until you hear “Slave to the Benjamins”. This is a seriously funky song. Consider yourself warned; don’t be surprised if you get a little sweaty when you listen to this tune.
Then there is “Lip”. This song is equal parts John Lee Hooker and ZZ Top. In other words, it is a boogie-blues tune that will get every part of you moving. It’s hard to imagine a song that grooves better than this one.
There is a lot to love about Virtue and Vice. It’s one part blues, one part funk, one part rock and roll. The entire album is very enjoyable. It will get you grooving and make you want to dance with someone…yes, even if it is in your living room. If you like funky blues rock, this album will be perfect for your collection.