They say they don't make them like they used to. They were wrong. Whoever "they" are, they obviously haven't had the pleasure of The Suffers, a 10-piece Gulf Coast soul band from Houston, Texas. A full brass ensemble, tight rhythm section and a hurricane force vocal courtesy of Kam Franklin create a dynamic, rich and massively soulful experience that is on display on their EP, Make Some Room.
The four songs on Make Some Room demonstrate straight up, solid gold, seductively soulful songwriting. The set's opening track, "Make Some Room," is exactly the kind of summery, shimmering delight that immediately lifts the mood in any room and offers the first chance to sample the band in full effect and they are everything you'd want from a soul revue band. In combination with Kam Franklin's voice, though, the whole thing sparkles like iridescent gemstones. Her voice shows strength, vulnerability and growling sexuality simultaneously.
"Stay" is proof that the class shown thus far, is permanent. The gentle tempo is like an aural definition of the word "chilled" and complements Kam's understated vocal perfectly, until the final 30 seconds find her pleading for her lover to stay and the power of her voice is revealed in all it's glory.
"Gwan" is a solid foot-stomper replete with driving drums, bursts of horns and tom-toms adding layers of funk to the mix, but the best is saved for last. EP closer "Giver" is slow-jam, soul ballad heaven. At just over seven minutes long, it builds second by second to a final tumult of desperation and desire. The instrumental breakdown around the halfway mark is a peach of muted trumpet and serves to set the scene for the denouement that finds Kam bereft, pleading and heart all aflutter. She's practically whimpering at the end and, frankly, I wasn't far off either.
Make Some Room is an EP full of confidence, but it's well placed in a fantastic 10-piece band and a super-soulful singer who drips in sultry sex-appeal. This appetizer of what The Suffers are capable of will have listeners ready for their main course.