Album, Single and EP Reviews



  The Supreme Genius of by King Khan and the Shrines

The Supreme Genius of cover art

Artist: King Khan and the Shrines
Title: The Supreme Genius of
Catalogue Number: Vice VCA 80005-2
Review Format: LP
Release Year: 2008

Sometimes a record will just jump out at you from the shelves. Whilst innocently wandering through a record shop called Monorail in Glasgow looking for some vegetarians to abuse (it is actually inside a vegetarian restaurant!), the super gaudy sleeve of The Supreme Genius of King Khan and the Shrines just leapt out at me. King Khan and the Shrines? The mere name indicated a band that would not hide its light under a bushel.

As you get older you get musical pretensions. The usual signs are pretending that you like jazz and an overwhelming urge to buy a 1 bit digitally remastered compact disc of a vinyl LP that you never listen to anyway. Yes, you have indeed forgotten the joys of sweat provoking bands that made you dance till dawn. As this is a compilation of the King Khan and the Shrines' output between 2001 and 2007, you might expect a bit of variation but this band stick to what they do best. Hard driving r '& b that would be as much at home on the Northern Soul powered dance floors in Wigan as it would be in a brothel in Saigon during the Vietnam war. Although drifting very slightly in the direction of Curtis Mayfield during "Welfare Bread", this is good natured, good time music that gets the old feet tapping (even if your dancing shoes have long since been hung up). Particular favourites were "Shivers Down My Spine" (only soul singers can do angst without sounding like wimps) and "Destroyer" (old style funk workout that will have you playing air bass guitar).

Even though the 16 tracks are spread over 4 sides of vinyl, the sound quality is raw and there are no audible signs at all that these songs were recorded in this century. There is actually a compact disc version of this LP but why would you want that? This music was destined for vinyl.
Review Date: October 25 2008