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Kid Congo And The Pink Monkey Birds
Gorilla Rose Julian Marszalek , June 2nd, 2011 07:19

When possessed of a pedigree as formidable as Kid Congo Powers' – as provider of fuzz guitar for The Gun Club and even fuzzier guitar for The Cramps, and as creator of ominous noises for Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds – the question eventually arises of just how hard it must be to live up to your own legacy. Surely anything released in the wake of some of the most ribald and damn sexy music ever committed to vinyl for posterity would find it hard to emerge from the shadows with its own identity intact?

For mere mortals, such a monumental task would prove impossible but this is Kid Congo Powers we're talking about here and Gorilla Rose – his third album with The Pink Monkey Birds – sounds as effortless as it is fabulously unrestrained. Anyone familiar with the man born Brian Tristan's work beyond that seminal and unholy trio of bands will know of Powers' knack for aiming at the hips before the head (just check 1989's In The Heat Of The Night EP for the groovy evidence) and so it proves here.

What we're talking about here is a party in a jewel case where the punch is spiked with Blue Sunshine LSD and the rim of your margarita has been dipped in MDMA with the whole shindig documented by Roger Corman. As with its predecessor, Dracula Boots, Gorilla Rose is no mere rehash of Nuggets-era ramalama but a collision of styles underpinned by Powers' unique fret wizardry and garbled vocal proclamations.

Opener 'Bo Bo Boogaloo' sets the pace for what's follow, a demented fusion of Latin grooves and R'n'B that drops you straight into the zone. It's followed by the equally urgent 'Goldin Browne'; credit must go here to the rhythm section of bassist Kiki Solis and drummer Ron Miller, whose watertight foundations demand nothing less than talc on the floor and the appropriate grinding of teeth. Similarly, 'Bubble Trouble' is possessed of an unrelenting pulse that's bathed in slide guitar, feedback and a kaleidoscopic madness that suggests a rollercoaster that you can't step off.

What becomes manifestly clear in a very short space of time is that our protagonists are having the kind of good time that suggests an eternal Saturday night of illicit pills, chemical thrills and the kind of carnal lust that sits well with those of a morally elastic nature and complete lack of conscience. The party's in full swing but the only thing missing is you. So, are you getting those dancing shoes on and coming in or what?

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