In his two-piece with Mark BBQ Sultan, King Khan & The BBQ Show brings garage rock as its meant to be played: layered with harmonies and catchy choruses, but oozing with distortion and dirty, sleazeball rock and roll.
King Khan & The BBQ Show have perfected simple, fun rock and roll. When Anala first hits your player, its not a thought of, Oh my god, Ive never heard anything like this, as much as a recognition of music done right. For the first few songs, it sounds like soft, friendly, harmony-driven garage rock with some hints of surf and R&B. Not to say that isnt correct, but theres a seedy side that takes the garage style and adds base debauchery. It takes a special band to shift from the ear candy harmonies of Invisible Girl and the croon-until-hes hoarse Third Ave to the ridiculous nature of songs like Animal Party and Tastebuds (which deserves a separate analysis, due to its lyrics so sexually blunt that no innuendo is necessary. Its astonishingly stupid to the point of brilliance, and has me singing Tastebuds on your cunt, so you can lick my booty from the front along to it as long as I can keep a straight face). Given a single song or two like this, one could dismiss King Khan as a novelty, but that would miss the point.
The range of content and the tight song-crafting overcomes any silliness. Sure, Khan and Sultan like to have fun, but theyre serious musicians at heart. Even if that fun sometimes overrides their professionalism, as it did on the recent drug-bust that canceled part of their tour. For the few silly songs on the record, there are even more R&B-fueled, smooth garage songs to enjoy. Its hard to ignore how succinct the structures are and how the album, despite its genre-leanings, differentiates between songs. The choral moments of the titular track are among the best harmonies Ive heard this year, with minimal guitar-driven rock setting the tone. The spoken word style that Khan sporadically implements doesnt suit my fancy, but thats the worst I can say about this release. Invisible Girl may not break new ground, but King Khan & The BBQ Show continue to deliver quality revival garage while honing their skills and harmonies.
8.0 / 10
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