Before we begin, I invite you to bask in the bastardised glory of Donkey Jaw, King Kong Company’s poetic pièce de resistance:
“It’s likely that one or two of ye who’ll listen to this
enjoy the liberal administration of a social lubricant in it’s many wonderful forms.
I can tell by the head on ya.
A drop o’ buckfast, a bump a’ Marvyn K, a cup o’ psilocybin scald,
an opium suppository or whatever you’re havin’ yourself.
And we’re right there with ya, rubbin’ in the commotion lotion and chasing blue ghosts.
F*** it, d’ya know what I mean? We have a rich tradition of shamanic celtic buzzers to uphold.
This is an ancestral obligation.
But nobody wants to end up with their head stuck in a k-hole
Down a forest path, with their trousers around their ankles, at 4 in the mornin’,
having a lack luster w*** at passers by.
Nobody needs to go down that path.
This drop serves as a warnin’; this a cautionary tale,
This our tilt at The Safety Dance, so everybody look at your hands…”
Having clawed their way to top-table status by playing to every muddy field and sweat-strewn venue over the past two decades; it seems inevitable and apt that King Kong Company touch upon the lyrical delicacy of Ireland’s penchant for hedonism.
Rather than kick-start the outfit’s debut LP with this arousing call to arms, King Kong Company drop the risqué spoken cut as the album’s final third arrives – eeking one last adrenal rush before the curtain-closing encore.
Recorded over the last sixteen months with Andy Keane in Blueroom Studios Clonmel, ‘King Kong Company‘ hits like a crash test dummy with a spliff in tow.
Reggae-infused beats aside, it’s the initial thud of All These Things that hits hardest. Beautifully abrasive, metallic riffs meld into distorted dub vocals and propulsive drumming courtesy of band leader Mark Graham.
Oldie iPop makes a welcome return, as do three other tried and tested fan favourites (Sins of Freck, Game Over & Free The Marijuana). But far from pressing old cuts onto a new LP, the sextet along with Prodigy producer, Neil McLellan, have reworked them into entirely different beasts. Polished arrangements, crisper production, and additional vocal guest spots all prove that sometimes more is in fact, more.
Be it Scarcity Dan’s reggae-fueled groove and bounce, Space Hopper’s Deise Drawl, or the vocoder space-odyssey that is Pol Pot Rock, King Kong Company make their calling card, and seriously impress.
But it’s not until the six-minute epic The Crab when the outfit really stretch their legs. Granted, it’s the album’s slow burner, but boy is it worth the investment. Pulsing beats lay the groundwork for shimmering synths and score-worthy horn sections, before dropping into an organic grove at the midpoint. It’s gloriously ambitious, recalling the finest sounds of Simian Mobile Disco and The Juan MacLean.
Perhaps it is the moment where King Kong Company outgrows the confines of the muddy fields and muggy midnight basements from which they made their name, but hey, isn’t that their ancestral obligation?