Wednesday, May 03, 2006
The Night Kings - Brainwashed
The Night Kings Brainwashed 7" (Dope/Bad Trip, 1993)
We were gonna get around to these guys sooner or later; it's Rob Vazquez's 90s garage rock titans the Night Kings. The earlier incarnation of this NW band went by the name Nights & Days through the mid-late 80s, and every last one of that band's 45s is fantastic, high-energy garage punk whose only contemporary competition came from the Gories. With the name change came not a whit of difference in the quality, the Night Kings still rooled while others drooled. Well, they probably spent some time in a stupor all their own... These two cuts here are quite representative of the best that early 90s garage has to offer you, the listener. It was a split release between Rob's Dope label and Bad Trip, which was supposed to release another Night Kings record but never did.
If you like this, you need to track down what must be the most underrated garage rock full length of the 90s, the Night Kings 'Increasing Our High' LP (vinyl only) on Super Electro. It's pretty much the unconscious (?) template for alot of the bloozy-punk stuff that's been pouring out of Europe for the last five years, with only isolated instances of them matching its power (Lightning Beat-Man for one). A tape of that lp has made the Trip to LA and back several times for this correspondent and still sounds great blasting loud in the darkness with the windows down at 80mph. The Night Kings have a few other 45s (their In the Red 7" is especially keeno and not hard to findo) and some comp appearances, while Rob continues to put out good records in newer bands on a mostly one-off basis. The most recent of these was the Right On 7" on France's Royal Records, def worth a ducat or two. -Ryan W.