The Expanders are all set to drop their much anticipated album, Hustling Culture. The record to be released on June 16 via Easy Star Records marks the third studio album for The Pier’s 2014 Breakout Artist of the Year.
Between touring with acts such as Slightly Stoopid, Tribal Seeds, and The Green, the group found time to create what is expected to be their most complete album to date.
“This one I will say is a little more focused than the last couple records.” singer/guitarist Devin Morrison said. “With this one we really tried to work out as much as we could in rehearsal before recording it. I think you can hear that on the record, it sounds a little bit tighter, a little more organized.”
Morrison, who is accompanied by band mates John Asher (Drums, Vocals), John Butcher (Guitar, Vocals), and Chiquis Lozoya (Bass, Vocals), has helped to create a sound akin to the Jamaican roots-reggae of the 70s.
In addition to being the title, “Hustling Culture” is the first song on the record and a phrase that holds special meaning for the group. “The financial reward for playing roots music is not always what we wish it was but that’s not the reason we are doing it. And ‘Hustling Culture’ is a reminder of that” explained Morrison.
Hustling Culture is the first release for the band since signing with Easy Star Records. The label that works with the likes of Rebelution, The Green, and The Skints was relatively hands-off in the creative process for the album.
“They were super cool with whatever we wanted to do. They never came forward with any suggestions for tweaking songs. They didn’t push anything and left it all up to us” Morrison added.
The band worked with several members of the funk group Orgone in the process of making the album. Both based out of the greater Los Angeles area, the two groups played clubs and bars together in Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley. When The Expanders started working on their self-titled debut album in 2006, they went to the recording studio of Orgone guitarist Sergio Rios and haven’t stopped going since.
“It’s all analog equipment. We record on analog tapes and there is a really good mix of vintage high quality equipment. (Sergio) understands the old school sound we are going for” Morrison said.
The only guest featured on Hustling Culture is Orgone keyboardist Dan Hastie. He plays clavinet on the track titled “Reggae Pops,” an ode to LA reggae/dance club legend Nemencio Andujar. Limiting the features for this record was a conscious decision for the band, preferring instead to make a record that is all them.
“We don’t want to use big names in the scene as a crutch to sell records. We would rather have people enjoy it, or not enjoy it, on the merits of what we do. Whether or not that was smart I guess we will see. We just wanted to create a record for The Expanders” Morrison stated.
Hustling Culture is currently available for pre-order on iTunes with the track “World of Happiness” offered as a FREE instant download – Pre-order it now by clicking HERE! You can pick it up on VINYL by clicking HERE!
The Expanders will spend the next few months promoting their new album as they’ll be touring from west to east coast sharing various dates with Collie Buddz, Tribal Seeds, Arise Roots and more. Below you’ll find dates and links to more information on The Expanders, including a FREE MP3 inside our MP3 Massive.
The Expanders – Hustling Culture
1.) Hustling Culture
2.) Uptown Set
3.) Piece of Love
4.) World of Happiness
5.) People Business
6.) Top Shelf
7.) Too Late
8.) Reggae Pops (feat. Dan Hastie)
9.) The Horse
10.) Iron Throne
11.) Thanks for Life
12.) Flesh and Bone
Watch: The Expanders – “Top Shelf” (Sugar Shack Sessions)