May 9, 2001
King Adora : Vibrate You
Oxfam glam from sexually ambiguous Brummie punks. Crumbs...
6 / 10
Scalpel, hatchet, blowtorch, meat-hook. Oh, hello! Just checking through the rock critic toolbox here. Not much call for the more delicate instruments at the moment. Not with so many NAMby-pambies and neo-hippies to be shot in the head and then buried in vast pits of quick lime. Oh no.
CHAINSAW! King Adora's agenda is confrontation, sleaze, glam, hysteria, and cheese. Their influences are the New York Dolls and Mott The Hoople. Among their peers they count the superbly camp and exhilarating Glitterbug. And this automatically makes them superior to, say, Starsailor, Toploader or Alfie. Obviously.
CORKSCREW! Their harsher critics point out that King Adora look like brickies. Duh! That's the whole point! You fools! Ask Eddie Izzard!
BINOCULARS! Live King Adora are amazing - especially if sandwiched (as they usually are) between mumbling tramp-bands. Pouting, preening, posing - they're so unfashionably excitable and blatantly sexual that you'd have to be dead from the waist down AND the neck up not to love them.
CLAMP! This is a daft record - the pseudo pub singer crooning interlude in 'We Are Heroes', for instance. Or the lyrics to 'Big Isn't Beautiful' (celebrating anorexia). Or the superbly riotous 'Friday Night Explodes' - which might well be about an arrested rent boy enjoying a knee-trembler with a WPC. And how about 'Supermuffdiver' for a title, eh? (Titter!)
SUCTION! 'Vibrate You' is, alas, an
ace-chewn-free zone (apart from the aforementioned 'Friday Night Explodes'). And without ace-chewns the sleazoid-confrontational'n'cheesily-hysterical wham-bam-thank-you-mam glam project fails to bite. 'Suffocate' comes frustratingly close, as, annoyingly, do half a dozen other tracks. But as an aural manifesto which those of us committed to the anti-fauxnaif jihad could use to smash in the brittle skulls of the acoustic sexless tramps, 'Vibrate You' is, frankly, inadequate.
PLASMA! Which, of course, is to stretch the brickie-butterfly on a wheel until it disintegrates. The need for bands like King Adora - bands that reject and rage against the current tyranny of dressed-down, mumbling, half-arsed ming-mong anti-rock - to cut the mustard is all-consuming. This is a war for the soul of UK 'alternative' music. A war that the hippies, the folkies and the horribly deformed and hideously whining mutant offspring of the shoegazing scum are winning hands down. But to send King Adora over the top with a record like this would be tantamount to murder.
POST MORTEM! Oh come on, that's a bit harsh, isn't it?
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