If any cultural capital in the world could possibly reboot the adventures of the P-Funk mothership, the Crescent City would be it. Yet this sextet, already well-known for its stage show, is reluctant to identify themselves to us lower life forms: it took a bit of digging to uncover the real identities of these supernauts, who are quite space serious about their very unserious space storyline. (There’s so much concept in this album that the liner notes do a lot of the work, a la Genesis’ “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.”) The short version involves a Christ-like savior of a spaceman named Spliff (nice pop-culture update there) fighting the anti-fuck anti-iconoclasts of the Bond-like cadre of villains known as S.C.R O.T.U.M. (yikes). There’s also a newly sentient sexbot known as Andromeo; it’s been a long time since Air used talkboxes to seduce humans, and it’s about time someone brought the concept back.
Got all that? It’s really just an excuse to lay down some thick NOLA-style funk-rock in a retro-futuristic setting. Despite the jazzy horns, titles like “Spaceman” and “Attack on the Spaceport,” and the yeoman work put forth by the amazing lungs of singer/rapper Whitney Alouisious, those searching for the future of funk will have to look elsewhere: this group’s cultural touchstones are all ‘70s-adjacent, from action jazz to “A New Hope” to Charlie Wilson to TV’s perennially underrated “Archer.” But it does indicate that they have excellent taste. You wouldn’t want to cruise the universe with Ed Sheeran and Post Malone, and neither would I.