album reviews

King Kong
Buncha Beans
Drag City (2007)

It's hard to believe that Ethan Buckler was once a member of Slint: Other than its home town of Louisville, Buckler's loudmouthed, brash outfit King Kong has little in common with the legendary post-rock band. The most obvious difference is Buckler's blatant sense of humor, as his seemingly stream-of-consciousness lyrics incorporate wacky sounds (kissing noises on "Freak Off You") and oddball rhymes (on "Bulldozers," he matches "microwave burrito" with "if you have to pee, go").

What seems goofy and garish on the surface does have moments of metaphorical depth. The bouncy keyboard and bass riffs on the title track hardly disguise Buckler's allusions to our melting-pot culture ("Some are black, some are white, some are yellow, some are green, some are laid-back, some are uptight, some are mellow, some are mean: Life ain't nothing but a buncha beans"). But Buckler doesn't stay serious for long; the next track, "Ride the Funky Mule," intersperses grunts and several bellowed "heehaws" amid lyrics reveling in stubbornness.

-- Catherine P. Lewis

.: Originally published: The Washington Post: 13 April 2007, Page WE09
.: Buncha Beans on