King Kong Blues is a French band which has ripped up stages at home and across Europe, sharing stages with the likes of Meteors, Fleshtones, Powersolo and many more along the way. They create an incitement which makes you throw the body around and unleash the boldest holler to lustily unite with theirs. All the evidence comes with their new album, Bam Bam, a release which had us exhausted, raw throated and broadly grinning from the pleasure.
Produced by Capsula vocalist Martin Guevara, Bam Bam is the second album from King Kong Blues, the successor to the very well-received Make Rock’n’Roll Great Again! of 2017. The band unleash blues flavoured rock ‘n roll but as their latest exploits shows it embraces a host of rousing roars of punk, alternative and garage bred rock. It is a proposition which could be best described as a boiling up of the ripe essences of The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Les Négresses Vertes, and Mano Negra with Powersolo for extra spicing but quickly and firmly stamps its own authority and individuality on ears and to be one riveting proposition.
Gino, Alex, Gilou unite twin guitar devilry and mercilessly manipulative rhythms with zeal from the first breath of their new riot, album opener King Kong Blues immediately teasing and swiftly inciting thick attention as guitars entangle a firm rhythmic stroll. The song’s jangle is as dark as it is bright, walking the lip of clamorous with a glint in its melodic eye as beats thump out just as magnetic temptation. Everything about the song is a tease, almost a taunting of the listener as it suggests a riot which never quite erupts but always simmers with animation around the just as captivating vocals.
It is a great start to the release but soon eclipsed by the nagging virulence and antics of Got My Mojo Working. Grooves burrow under the skin in quick time, beats taking firm swipes in tandem revelry as again vocals instigate even bolder participation in the infectious shenanigans. There was no escaping its manipulation or that of Les Filles, a flirtatious slip of a temptress equipped with delicious hooks and an inescapable bounce. Blues and rockabilly align within its rock ‘n’ roll saunter, the song pure virulence and soon a prime favourite.
That album’s title track joins it on that pedestal, its dark rhythms almost predatory against the contagiously swinging body of melodic and sonic grooving. With the band’s united vocals again as much a puppeteer to body and pleasure as the sounds sharing their mischief, the track had us spinning before addiction forging Gato Negro uncaged its own vintage rock ‘n’ roll hued, punk lined stomp. Swiftly it consumed energetic bodies here, keeping the hips swaying even when slipping into a psych kissed calm.
Through the sweltering blues woven climate of the sultry La Machine and the groove spinning punk ‘n’ roll of Raymond, the album continued to dictate movement and rich enjoyment, the following Rumble in the Jungle adding its own unique proposal to the adventure. Rhythmically jabbing as guitars again wind intoxicating grooves around ears and vocals, the track simmers with energy, all the while stirring its pot of temptation with increasing rigour before boiling up into another rousing and here slightly pugilistic romp.
Trahison Man similarly has a confrontational edge to its imagination and catchiness, a deceit which sees rhythms bite and vocals snarl within another melodic weave of craft and temptation. It too is a song which badgers ears, one demanding attention and rewarding with infection loaded enterprise coated with creative intrigue while the following Frankie is a liquor of blues and rock ‘n’ roll, a heady cavort of craft and sound greedily devoured.
The final pair of We are Nothing, with its familiar but uniquely presented blues nurtured stroll, and the gentle persuasion of Attends ensured that Bam Bam left as potently as it entered ears, the second of the two especially riveting with its increasingly psychotic character and breath; that initial mellow invitation growing into an tempestuous trespass even more greedily consumed.
Our exhaustion and exhilaration is proof of the spirit rousing fun to be had with King Kong Blues and an album which with thick pleasure had us doing its bidding like few others in recent times.
Bam Bam is out now via Gaztelupeko Hotsak Records; available @ https://king-kong-blues.le-label-pas-sage.fr/boutique/
Pete RingMaster 21/01/2021