Hearing Aide: Baked Shrimp ‘Conscious’

On March 26th, Long Island funk trio Baked Shrimp released their second studio album, Conscious. Known to many as Long Island’s best kept secret, Baked Shrimp has been expanding their audience and have had sit-ins from Brandon “Taz” Niederauer and Ryan Dempsey of Twiddle.

Cover art by Scott Reill

The band, who were among the finalists on NYS Music’s March Madness bracket, intended to release Conscious in time for their 2020 summer tour, but had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Within this time gap, Lon “Conscious” Gellman—a close friend and loyal fan of Baked Shrimp—passed away. To honor Lon’s memory, the band named their album after his nickname.

Conscious has been in production since February of 2020, and was recorded in Patchogue, NY with help from Nick and Mike Rufolo of The Brothers Nylon who assisted in recording, mixing, and performing on all 10 tracks. The album’s final mix was done by Anthony Cimino at Mojo Music Studio in Franconia, New Hampshire.

Throughout Conscious, layers of horns, strings, keyboards, and synthesizers create musical textures that come together to create the defining ‘Baked Shrimp sound.’

The first track of the album, “NO2-4U,” is a fitting start, beginning with a classical acoustic guitar introduction that captures the listener and builds into a lively jam full of funky horn lines that drive the energy of the song.

Across the album, one thing you will always notice is the proficiency of each musician. The rhythm is always locked, the bass is grooving and locked in with the drums kick.

Each of the many instrumental, jam sections found in songs throughout the album fit the moment well and create bridges that effectively link to later sections. These moments help keep the energy of the track, but also allows the band to breath a little bit and show their chops.

Baked Shrimp performing in April 2021

“Rosa” is a good example of the dynamic instrumentals mentioned in the last paragraph. The track begins with a mellow but upbeat instrumental section that is carried by the spacey sound of the guitar and keyboard.

This instrumental section returns later in the track, except this time with more layers of keyboard and synthesizer parts that lift the energy, which is carried through the rest of the song until its end.

“Down the Drain” is riff heavy and has a very progressive-rock influenced sound. It definitely has a harder sound than most of the tracks on the album, but it shows the versatility of Baked Shrimp’s sound.

Now we can only look forwards to the days when more venues reopen and tours start rolling again, so Baked Shrimp can showcase the work they put into Conscious to a larger audience.

While opportunities for gigs are sparse now, Baked Shrimp was lucky enough to play at Lambrou’s Hall in Island Park, NY on April 3rd. In this show, the band was able to play through all of Conscious, as well as debut three other original songs. Baked Shrimp will soon be releasing full video and audio of the event.

There are big things in store for fans of Baked Shrimp. The band is eager to show their hard work to audiences around New York state and the country.

Hopefully, 2021 will be the year of the shrimp.

Key tracks: NO2-4U, Rosa, Down the Drain

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