Back For More
Two mildly familiar tracks greet you on King Khan & the Shrines’ latest LP, Idle No More. Opener “Born To Die” planted the initial seed that KK and co. were onto something new and slightly more cinematic than their previous material. The glissando of strings almost sounds like you’ve warped right into the revolution; after all, Idle No More does get its name from the movement to promote sovereignty and environmental protection for Canadian Aboriginals. Welcome. The band’s been waiting for you since last year’s release of second track and unofficial first single “Bite My Tongue.” Though there’s no intriguing intro à la its superhero-centric music video, “Bite My Tongue” is still sonically solid and just as catchy as a Super KK vs. Jesus showdown, peaceful ending and all.
What follows is a mostly psychedelic ride with far more twists and turns than any previous King Khan & the Shrines record. The unexpected leaves you wanting more in the way that an insatiable urge to scratch a bug bite reddens and rubs you raw. You can’t help but put every song on repeat until Idle No More has completely run its course. Midway through, the salve of soul coats your eardrums in form of standouts “Better Luck Next Time” and third single (with equally kickass video) “Darkness”. King Khan is at his most approachable when the wintry groove of “Pray for Lil” kicks into gear. The falsetto yearning and copious harmonies give each slow-moving horn trill a run for their money.
Idle No More‘s composition and tightness is so far unparalleled in the King Khan catalog. While 2007’s What Is?! may have been a decent intro, subsequent LP The Supreme Genius of King Khan & the Shrines recycled just enough material for old fans to grow hungry for more, and fast. Of Idle No More‘s twelve tracks, “Bite My Tongue” is the only one that comes from an outside source in the form of a 7″ single split with Mikal Cronin. 2013 is poised to be a year of rediscovery and reimagining for King Khan, who recently reunited with collaborator Mark Sultan for the King Khan & BBQ Show. Fortunately for the madman behind the music, fans just can’t get enough.