Very early on, it becomes apparent that Amsterdam Throwdown, King Street Showdown is less a collaboration of Solex (a.k.a Elisabeth Esselink), Jon Spencer, and Christina Martinez and more a straight Solex album backed by the American underground rock stars. That will no doubt be a dissappointment to more than a few American listeners, because it's the first major release by Christina Martinez since Boss Hog's 2000 Whiteout. It's also the first non-Heavy Trash album by Spencer since Blues Explosion's 2004 album, Damage. On both those albums, Spencer and Martinez began experimenting much more with keyboards and synths than they had previously, something that offended their more purist punk fans (as oxymoronic as that sounds in 2010, it was a very real thing in the '90s).
The brand of smartass, revisionist electro-pop from Solex (a.k.a. Elisabeth Esselink) was, like Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Boss Hog, perpetually ahead of its time. With Solex and Spencer and his wife/Boss Hog frontwoman, Christina Martinez, all now fully detached from Matador Records, the timing was right for a collaboration. Like Solex's debut, Solex vs. the Hitmeister, the collaboration takes the form of a mock showdown. In reality, however, Amsterdam Throwdown, King Street Showdown makes complete sense for all three parties. Solex, quiet since 2005's In The Fishtank, is ripe for rediscovery in the wake of Passion Pit, The xx, and Phoenix. Meanwhile, after a successful tour with Boss Hog in 2008, Christina Martinez is ready to join her hubby back on the touring circuit. Spencer just recorded his third album with his new band, Heavy Trash, and his Blues Explosion catalog will be reissued throughout 2010.
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