King Brothers 

King Brothers (In the Red)

From the beginning riffs of this album's opener "Oh Shit," Osaka's King Brothers are already onto something good. Exactly what's happening lyrically is unclear -- all the vocals are either in Japanese or are screamed/laughed at an insane volume that contorts them into just another layer of distortion. But you don't need a translator to get the Brothers' freaked-out garage punk. The King Brothers set the blues ablaze in a punk arson, but with hyper-pop sensibilities similar to the Hives. Live, the King Brothers are definitely worth the low, low cost of admission that their current unknown status commands. In person, they transform from quiet drinkers in the back of the club to suited-up stacks of dynamite, throwing their short fuses across the room in the physical embodiment of the upbeat restlessness of their songs. The record sounds like a nastier, cheaper Jon Spencer Blues Explosion -- what Spencer was creating before he smoothed out and funked up so many of his rough edges. There's nothing smooth about this disc, which is exactly what makes it so brilliant. King Brothers is a real blues explosion.

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