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Review - "Gunk Palace" by Sooza Brass Band

Updated: Jul 2

Sooza band

As a British brass band musician and euphonium player, I always get jealous of brass players who are doing something really cool. I love playing with Grimethorpe Colliery Band (and yes, some of the band performed live at Glastonbury 2024 with Coldplay) but still, there is another world of brass bands out there that are becoming more and more popular. Sooza Brass Band from Gainesville, FL, USA are one of these bands.

The most famous type of band like this is probably The Youngblood Brass Band and there are some similar bands in the UK. In fact, Barnsley's Big Weekend in the UK, often features such bands alongside traditional bands like Grimethorpe.

They describe their sound as Brass Funk or Brass Metal. As a massive fan of heavy metal (and ex-guitarist in a metal band) this is right up my street. The bands new release is called Gunk Palace and it has been released in June 2024 ahead of their upcoming second album 'Undeniable'.

Sooza Band

Here is the single, have a listen!!

The band is made up of six college friends as follows:

Trumpet | Shawn Villanueva

Trumpet | Adrienne Widener

Saxophone | Ryan Gamberino

Trombone | Brian Burwell

Sousaphone | Bianca Maesa

Drums | Austin DiVito

The track starts with a driving bassline and thumping beat. What I love the most about this track is the cross-rhythm. They blend so many different styles together in this track and it really is epic. Some awesome solos and constant sense of fluency and contrast. The break down section midway through builds up to a solo trombone with rhythmic stabs but then the sonority of the band somehow shifts into something new, trance like, but with heavy bass and drum kit. Once you listen to this track you will need to listen to it over and over!

Their Youtube channel has lots of live videos and I have no idea how they play their instruments while moving around so much. Their live shows are very energetic and well choreographed.

Go check them out, I know they would be super grateful for any support!

Thanks for reading. ❤

Mark Glover


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