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Album review: The King Khan & BBQ Show - 'Invisible Girl' (In The Red)

A goofy, charming trip back into the rock'n'roll history books

Album review: The King Khan & BBQ Show - 'Invisible Girl' (In The Red)

7 / 10 A classic example of a star in his own mind, over the past few years [b]King Khan[/b] has seen his profile rise to match his own self-created legend. It’s all thanks to lurid, chaotic live shows, a relentless release schedule and his association with acts such as the [a]Black Lips[/a] and [a]Jay Reatard[/a]. Prior to [b]‘Invisible Girl’[/b], Khan was fronting The Shrines, and this time out, the King and his buddy BBQ – also known as Mark Sultan and once Khan’s bandmate in the heroically named Spaceshits – go further back through American pop history, into the rock’n’roll and doo-wop annals, while always mindful to soak the results in the juice of their punk origins.

From opening track [b]‘Anala’[/b], it’s clear this motley two aren’t afraid to goof it up with their fantasy proto-pop. [b]‘Animal Party’[/b] seems to be an excuse for Khan to do farmyard impersonations over twangular guitar and bemoan the fact one of the beasts has eaten his pizza. If you have a cousin of pre-school age who you think would benefit from being introduced to ‘cool’ music, this is purpose-built. However, you may have to shield them from the scenario described in [b]‘Spin The Bottle’[/b].

When Khan and BBQ hark back to not only a pre-punk but pre-garage era – that is to say, the late ’50s – on numbers such as [b]‘Third Ave’[/b] and [b]‘Tryin’[/b]’, they sound teary enough to cut through accusations of empty pastiche. The (admittedly not entirely serious) image these two have cultivated, as sweat-drenched sex tigers, doesn’t preclude them from admitting they can’t always charm the femmes: to wit, the fizzing rockabilly of [b]‘Lonely Boy’[/b] (“I’ll be your slave/I’ll even dig your grave/But you won’t talk to me”). ‘Tryin’’ even salutes a love interest for her taste in chewing tobacco. Takes all sorts.

It’s about time Khan shared in the recognition his bad-boy mates have enjoyed, and this is the album to do it. Though the harder of heart might not be able to swallow the rock’n’retro stylings, [b]‘Invisible Girl’[/b] is an ice-cool, analogue-warm winner. Make like its creators and loosen up.

[b]Noel Gardner[/b]

[i]What do you think of the album? Let us know by posting a comment below.[/i]

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