Weapons of Peace

Weapons of Peace were an American soul/funk quintet active during the mid 1970s. The band released a lone, self-titled album on Playboy Records in 1976.

Members: Finis Henderson (lead vocal, percussion), Andrew Hardy (guitar, backing vocals), David Johnson (bass, backing vocals), Lonnell Dantzler (keyboards), Bill Leathers (drums)

Across the album’s eight songs, Weapons of Peace run the gamut from heady, dancefloor vibes to cosmic, otherworldly auras. The latter is embodied through the lavish, melodramatic orchestral sweep of “Space Child,” addressed to a lifelong subject of the limelight. Similarly ambitious is the piano-laden, chorally rich “Make Believe You’re Near Me,” with its delicate refrains of fluid sax.

A rhythmically hard-nosed side emerges on the syncopated slide of “Just Can’t Be This Way (Ruth’s Song),” where disconnected ivory and remote trumpet fade in and out amidst the staccoto fretboard interplay. Elsewhere, the Cmaj7 Rhodes chords of “Just Keep On Smiling” alternate with stomp/clap jive breaks laced with conga/vibraslap rhythmic spice.

A sweaty vibe courses through the urban delirium of “City,” where a monochordal locked-groove in B abruptly breaks to a far-chorded, Fmaj7 symphonic descent on the chorus. By contrast, the wah-drench, string-laden waters of the richly harmonied “This Life” expresses a newfound appreciation of personal bonds amidst the depersonalized rush of the touring life.

Weapons of Peace would record no more, but two members surfaced during the early 1980s — Dantzler as part of the funk/rap Wreckin Crew of “Chance to Dance” fame, and Henderson with a coveted 1983 West Coast-style album titled Finis.

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