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and the Pink Monkey Birds, Philosophy and Underwear
With spells as one of Nick Cave's Bad Seeds, co-founder of the Gun Club and sometime player with the Cramps, Kid Congo Powers has had a long and illustrious history as the pre-eminent punk rock sideman.
He's notable for his choppy expressionist guitar style, less so as a vocalist and songwriter in his own right. Philosophy and Underwear, a new album recorded with his own bunch of sidemen, should correct that.
In the opening "The History of French Cuisine" and a raucous stomp called "Black Bag," he even adds a few bonafide classics to his canon. And the cannibal-fixated "Why Hurt Flesh," a cover of a song originally recorded with techno-blues producer Khan, is as ghoulish as anything the Cramps ever recorded.
An eminently capable bunch, the Pink Monkey Birds thrash out a delightful accompaniment to Powers's unique musings on love, sex, sleaze and the human disease that's somewhere between rock and roll cabaret and lounge punk.
The glue that holds it all together, though, is Kid Congo's unique delivery, a drawl so impossibly cool its difficult to work out whether he's being seductive, wry or scathing.