Reviews King Khan & The BBQ Show Invisible Girl

King Khan & The BBQ Show

Invisible Girl

In his two-piece with Mark “BBQ” Sultan, King Khan & The BBQ Show brings garage rock as it’s 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, it’s not a thought of, “Oh my god, I’ve 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 isn’t correct, but there’s 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-he’s 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. It’s 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 they’re 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. It’s 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 I’ve heard this year, with minimal guitar-driven rock setting the tone. The spoken word style that Khan sporadically implements doesn’t suit my fancy, but that’s 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 / 10Loren
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In The Red

2009

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