If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past two decades, you most likely have been affected by the captivating brand of music conjured up within the collective eclectic brains of Portland band Rustic Overtones. Fronted by Dave Gutter since 1994, this jazz/rock/funk band never ceases to please loyal fans with its mostly upbeat and very diverse music chops. The new eight-song CD, “Let’s Start a Cult,” does not disappoint.

Right out of the gate, the title track attacks your ears with the chorus “yeah, yeah,” then charging flutes (yes, somehow they made that happen, a likening to Jethro Tull), followed by Gutter’s anomalous voice, guitar and keyboards — and somehow, they made a song that could be described as calculated, contained chaos.

Slowing things down a bit is track four, “Say Yes,” with the lyrics “I came to a fork in the road / I chose the path of resistance / I wore down my sole like my shoe had a hole / And I saw those lights in the distance.” This song is a slow groove, with horns rolling in and out, and keyboards dancing through to produce some very cool vibrations.

Throughout this CD, these boys have artfully incorporated the sounds of the campy ’70s, the jazzy ’80s, the funk of the ’90s and all the rock ‘n’ roll in between. There is so much going in many of the songs, it’s almost impossible to not feel like everything is going to fall apart at any moment, but it never does. How the Overtones kept the CD’s overall consciousness cohesive, I am not sure, because each track is different and has so many elements, it easily could have broken down.

But that just may be what everyone loves about this group — its spirit and talent surpass any of that, and the members have figured out how to dance together without stepping on anyone else’s toes. The end product is certainly fresh, totally unique and all Rustic Overtones.

Kristin DiCara-McClellan is a local freelance writer. She can be reached at:

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