Antibalas were the perfect choice of house band for the off- and on-Broadway runs of the Fela! musical, based on the life of afrobeat progenitor Fela Kuti. The 12-strong New York collective has spent the last 14 years spreading Fela’s afrobeat gospel across the globe with all-singing, all-dancing shows packing more energy than most musicals, let alone garden-variety indie bands.
But although they’ve performed plenty of Kuti covers, their own material has proven Antibalas to be much more than a tribute band. While there’s no shortage of bands capturing the sound of afrobeat, few have also captured its fury. Yet Antibalas’ previous albums, such as 2002’s Talkatif and 2004’s Who Is This America?, carried a righteous ire within their riotous grooves.