Song of the Day 4/6/09: King Khan & The Shrines - Land of the Freak
Pitchfork said something pointed a while back about the difference between Spencer Krug (Wolf Parade / Sunset Rubdown) and Carey Mercer (Frog Eyes): the former simply pretends to be a beast, while the latter actually is. Credit in the rare case where credit is due: they nailed that "fragile vs. outright insane" dynamic in a big way, and it's a comparison that stays relevant with shifting trends. Faced now with a loud avalanche of noise pop bands drenched in wry poseurism, I'd like to take this opportunity to reappropriate the fine compliment of "actual beast" to King Khan, exemplary gorilla of garage rock. We've swept through punk revival in a hurry, allowing a "wow, is this retro already?" nod to a bunch of kids shredding and posturing like punk legends of old, and while it was entertaining, I was never really convinced it came from an organic place. Enter the remedy: King Khan and The Shrines. I'm ready for more of where "Land of the Freak" came from - these guys could stand toe to toe with Iggy Pop without flinching, and that's no exaggeration. Youngsters, check the antics and take note, but don't fucking copy - that's where you went wrong the first time.
- Phillip Taylor-Parker
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