Bobby Conn King For A Day

For a man that has proclaimed himself as the possible Antichrist, Bobby Conn is doing a terrible job of inflicting pain and suffering on the world. His makeup-smeared flamboyance and life-affirming rock shows have made the man a hero to anyone willing to listen to his barmy messages. Clearly bonkers, he’s a visionary like no other, and with King For A Day the Chicagoan may just have created the madcap masterpiece he’s always threatened to unleash on our vulnerable ears. Described as "a desperate attempt to lose myself in a candy-coloured fantasyland of freaks and fairies,” Conn has amassed a cast of 14 bodies to realise his concept. In keeping with the spirit to his body of work the album is brash in its unwillingness to commit to any one style, a common trait of his that has rubbed many the wrong way. He kicks it off with an eight-minute number that moves from harmless bossa swing to a scorching psych eruption, complete with lyrics that you’ll need your high school Latin to translate. From there it gets weirder. The title track calmly tells a story of the band getting their toes sucked on tour in the UK and "Sinking Ship” demonstrates how tight the amateurish band are with a gonzo instrumental that schools just about any prog rock jam Rick Wakeman could dream up these days. Then there’s the misleading yet feel-good orchestral pop of "Love Let Me Down” and the convincing sales pitch of "Punch the Sky!,” which has me thinking that this little dude in the pink, tight-ass hip huggers is my new demigod. If you can dig it, I imagine you’ll feel the same way. (Thrill Jockey)