King Khan & the Shrines are a groovy bunch of guys who turn out some righteously partylicious grooves and butt-bobbing collisions of goodfoot R&B and fuzz-faced ’60s-style garage rock. A 12-piece band featuring a full-on horn section and the manic James Brown-meets-Kid Creole stylings of the good sire Khan, they moved to Berlin to purvey their get-down magic under Teutonic skies in 1999. They released their first album in 2002, and now they’re set to shake out a new slab of soulful goodness on June 17th, the modestly titled The Supreme Genius of King Khan & The Shrines, on Vice Records. It’s a wonderful thing that their supercharged, dance-demon sound will be reaching a wider audience now that they’ve made the Vice move, and they’ll be touring the US to support the album in July and August.
That said, I can’t deny a certain trepidation about the hipster nation getting hold of the psychedelic-soul aesthetic. Will the streets of Greenpoint be covered with kids who’ve traded their carefully crafted bedheads for ironic afros? Will I suddenly become self-conscious about enjoying my Baby Huey and William S. Fischer reissues, forever in fear of receiving that smugly approving, crate-digger-manque nod? Damn it, that’s the sort of thing that nearly ruined synth-pop for me, and Krautrock before that! Where’s it all headed? Is it an endless spiral that winds up with me sitting cross-legged in a closet, gibbering new jack swing lyrics to myself and unable to listen to anything but deep album cuts by the Little River Band? Stop the madness now! (But buy the King Khan record anyhow, you insatiable groovehounds!)
16. No Regrets