There’s this spaceyness to this record that’s up there with the best stuff Maximum Joy or Pop Group did; that loose, whirligig sound on Free-Dum Trail or Orbit Macht Frei are cases in point...
Bloody heck this is GOOD. Yet another reason to believe the hype that Holland is currently a hotbed of great music. King Champion Sounds bridge a sort of cosmic gap between the 1970s and now, picking up psychic goodies on the way and somehow managing to package all their new boy enthusiasm, old sweat experience and verve and wit in one gloriously enjoyable whole.
What really sets this short LP apart, makes it a must listen rather than something that is enjoyable to listen to once in a while is the playing; the band love playing this record. It’s almost a shock to hear a band get down in this sharp, sparky manner these days. And then there are two other factors that add to this conceit. Firstly there’s the brass; especially the rich tones and the slightly cheeky expressions they lend to offset the chugging undercarriage. The parps and squeaks in the opener Here We Go Again are a case in point; the track grooves along very nicely indeed thank you, but the way that the horns pop up to either form a counter blast to GW Sok’s preaching, or to add a smooth, reassuring coating to the guitar patterns is great, just great. World of Confusion is another fabulous sonic alliance. The brass and guitars join forces and present a cohesive, brash sound that is very attractive indeed, and one that GW Sok can’t help but exaggerate over. Then we get the drumming, which is something else too, as it’s urgent, almost pushing the band to greater things, on the point of exploding into far more of the track than it should do. Its sheer effervescence sets the tone, Peter Leopold-style, and even when we get think pieces such as Orbit Macht Frei, or Shouting at the Moon; the very positivity of the skin bashing adds a very welcome counterpoint and emotional space.
There’s this spaceyness to this record that’s up there with the best stuff Maximum Joy or Pop Group did; that loose, whirligig sound on Free-Dum Trail or Orbit Macht Frei are cases in point; tracks, incidentally that also aren’t afraid to draw on Beefheart or Gong either. In fact there are bits on this that are very close to Gong, such as the beginning of El Problemo Grande. But listen up, that is a very good thing, as Gong were space cadets extraordinaire. So, this record is loose, expressive, and creative, we’ve established that; suspend disbelief and you could pretend that Shouting at the Moon could be a lost PiL demo, or a rich take on that Can comeback LP with Malcolm Mooney back on vox. For sure you’ve heard riffs and conceits like this before (and that guitar run on Shop Drop is – I am sure my failing memory will tell me here – something similar to an old Cocteau Twins riff), but what the hell, it’s a cracking LP.
Well worth your time pop pickers, so click the link at the top of this review without delay.