Monday, February 27, 2006

King Brothers - s/t

King Brothers s/t 7" (Bulb, 1998)

At some point in the late 90's I became a little jaded concerning garage-level punk, yes, it is true. One hyperventilating, God-fearing review after another over bands I just knew were patently mediocre had dulled the initial rush of liberating, innocent excitement that the early 90's scene had unleashed within me. For every Leather Uppers and Motards record, there was a Lipstick Pickups or Hellacopters turd floating in the bowl of someone's Top Ten in MRR or Hitlist. For every Teengenerate or Count Backwurds live show there was the counterbalancing ass scratching tedium of, I dunno, the Fiends or some local hack bluessurfsploitation outfit with about as much punk stomp as Eddie Gorme. Part of the problem was the deluge of "calling card" 45s alluded to in an earlier post, but "fake freakout frenzy" on the part of live bands was also a definite bringdownzzzz, merely a way to cover up for a lack of songs. "Please, pleeeeeeze suck our road-grizzled cocks pretty ladies, pleeeeze??"

When I was told that the King Brothers, a Japanese band touring the USA with zero rep, were 'fucking amazing' live, I yawned and expected another carefully observed exercise in paper tiger demolition. Uh, wrong. These fung-fu motherfuckers in white suits put on a contorted display of John Woo-styled Action Theater that had me thinking "These guys must be the stunt doubles for the King Brothers, but no, they're actually playing their instruments during this." That this show went down at San Francisco's Edinbugh Castle, whose interior bears a more than passing resemblance to the interior of the brothel where the Bride-Kills-Everbody in Kill Bill I, is only cosmically appropriate. Thank God I thought to bring my cattle prod along to the show in order to keep them off of me, or my limp would be even more pronounced then it already is. In brief, I think I gained a better understanding of what our grandfathers went through on Tarawa and Iwo Jima. It is worth noting that the blinding galactic forces these guys were channeling that night surely contributed to the spontaneous combustion of their tour van that occurred on a local freeway later that week; perhaps then they learned not to toy with such primal energies...

So, the band's round-eye squire Mr. Pearson was in charge of these "tour-only" 45s that had come out on on the Bulb label (gentlemen, please remove your hats for a moment of silence...thank you) and I gladly purchased one. The sounds transmitted below give an indication of what most everyone missed that night, but for a lucky few. They put out an LP on Bulb, then another on In The Red later, but this 7" is the most enneravating example of their glassy-eyed punk roq. And I started crawling out of my anti-garage punk rut...thanks Brothers. -Ryan W.

Certainly one the best live bands I've ever seen. On Sony in Japan?!?!?
Did you go see that new band one of 'em has where they play on stilts?

uh, eight records- on toshiba! and at least one dvd (not pictured) put out by Vutch! cover by me (sorta!)

New drummer, no huge afro, different sound. Rolling Stones?

I love these guys. after completely destroying memphis, i followed 'em to sf to see 'em play twice- at the E Castle and fuck, something on a sunday afternoon w/Dogbreath (where's their static party post?). Seriously thought someone was gonna get brained by Masa's swinging guitar. Yow! But nothing matches the finger-in-socket blast of their first record.
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