Dance or jam bands that take a break from carefree anthems for a token socially conscious song can appear hilariously insincere. Antioquia is different. Its sound is certainly crafted to keep the crowd groovin', but from track one to the end of My piano ate the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle, these Bay-area psychedelics are determined to shoulder the world's woes.
Good thing Antioquia's music is global enough for the feat. Picture psychedelic funk guitar riffs and bass-lines masticating Afro-Colombian and island percussion, and you either have exactly the right idea or a wildly unnecessary mental image. Frontwoman Mana Maddy Streicek capably shifts her vocal styling throughout the album but is at her best when she veers toward calypso. There's a big Caribbean voice inside that tiny white Canadian.
To its credit, the band manages to harmonize danceable rhythms with socially charged words. Although the lyrical laundry list of human injustices doesn't grant many fresh insights, Antioquia apparently lives its message through the Post Peak Oil Rock Project, an ambitious undertaking to eliminate the band's dependence on fossil fuel. That kind of initiative solidifies Antioquia's sincerity beyond reproach.
Antioquia plays the Top Hat Tuesday, July 27 at 9:30 PM with YETI and opening for Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band. $7.