The anticipation surrounding each new Kid 606 release is usually fostered by his versatility. He followed up the frenetic mash-up masterpieces The Action Packed Mentallist Brings You the Fucking Jams and Kill Sound Before Sound Kills You with a series of EPs and full-lengths that found him casting off for unknown waters, whether it be the simple pop of Resilience or the weirdo bass anthems of Pretty Girls Make Raves.
But while Shout at the Döner‘s content is different enough from his previous output to keep his reputation for unpredictability untarnished, one glance at its cover art pretty much gives it away: red on black, a demon with pentagram eyes, and yes, that’s an umlaut over a zero. Justice’s appropriation of heavy-metal iconography always seems only slightly ironic — those guys seem to take themselves pretty seriously behind their glowing cross and leather jackets. But here, the Kid is gleefully, unabashedly stealing the most ridiculous aspects of ’80s horror-show hair metal and combining them with his amped-up take on rave and club music.
Lead-off single “Mr. Wobble’s Nightmare” is the best summation of Kid 606’s modus operandi for this album. He samples 4 Hero’s classic 1991 rave track “Mr. Kirk’s Nightmare,” but replaces the original’s report of a drug overdose with a bizarre story of cannibalism among ravers told by a pitch-shifted Jamie Stewart. “Dancehall of the Dead” provides a similar combination of dance and doom. A sample of Nick Cave announcing “Hands up, who wants to die?” from the Bad Seed’s “Sonny’s Burning” is backed by a club groove in constant upshift, which brings to mind the high point of a rave at Armageddon.
In some respects, Shout at the Döner harks back to Kid 606’s turn-of-the-century mash-ups more than anything he’s done since. The manic pace and repeating samples of “Hello Serotonin, My Old Friend” and “Getranke Nasty” recall the best moments of The Action Packed Mentallist and Kill Sound, except with a subtler feel for song structure that curbs those albums’ tendency toward overkill. The material sampled is done so with a much more discerning eye, as well; whereas previously there was an overabundance of easily recognizable Top 40 artists, here the samples are deployed more in service to the song than due to their recognition factor.
The only caveat regarding this album is its length. It takes a bit of an effort of will to get through the entirety of its near-80-minute run time, and as a whole it would be improved by cutting out some tracks. The songs taken singly are uniformly compelling, though, and 80 minutes spent in Kid 606’s twisted end-of-the-world raves is hardly a bad thing.