King Brothers In The Red

Hailing from Osaka, the King Brothers are a two-guitar and drums panic rock outfit cast in the image of JSBX and Guitar Wolf. The energy here is as high as the shrill Japanese vocals, and it's obvious that these guys are serious as cancer about what they're doing. It's almost as if Guitar Wolf was given outtakes from Jon Spencer's Crypt Style and Extra Width albums and asked to do covers of them. Tracks like "Oh Shit!" and "Super X" have all the screwy time changes we've come to expect in blues punk, complete with jabbing, flailing guitars and tight, funky drumming. What sets these guys apart, though, is their use of effects and musical devices outside their own genre. On "Yakekuso," the same type of vocal flanger sound used by Black Sabbath is employed, taking the tune in a fresh sounding direction. It's these original, genre-melding elements, like the jazzy breakdown on "***," that stands out most on this record, and make the King Brothers the ones to watch. It's no surprise that Jon Spencer is producing a mini-album for them, which is set for release in 2002. (In The Red)