King Khan & The Shrines - Idle No More (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
SIXyears since the release of King King & The Shrines’ last album, What Is!? comes Idle No More, an LP that’s full of sweat-drenched, ass shaking, groovy, psyched-out numbers, complete with rip roaring horn lines, southern fried guitar riffs and lysergic melodies.
If you’re a fan of acts like The Heavy, then this is another great album to turn to.
The song structure conforms to the classic style of yesteryear, with liberal doses of rock ‘n’ roll and Northern Soul, as well as the funk of James Brown at times.
And they’re equally adept at dropping in the moody, ballad-esque numbers to offset the more ass shaking party moments.
Born To Die sets things in motion in suitably take notice fashion, with some striking guitar riffs and a funky vibe that the Austin Powers crowd would be proud to get down to, while Bite My Tongue is a real hip-swinger driven by ’60s guitar licks, groovy tambourine beats and sharp stabs of brass.
Both tracks, though, display a more contemporary feel in terms of their lyricism, offering often damning indictments of the modern world (“tell me when the shit hits the fan, who do you think is the man?” on Bite My Tongue).
There’s similar energetic fun to be found on the rollicking Luckiest Man and Bad Boy (both of which drop anthemic choruses), while So Wild even boasts a classic Commitments vibe courtesy of its free-flowing trumpets.
Evidence of their ability to mix things up, however, is found on the moody ballad Darkness, during which Arish Ahmad Khan comes over all crooner and soulful and impresses for different reasons.
So impressed were the band themselves with this particular song that they’ve made a surreal stop-motion video that deals with some heavy issues: life, death, what it’s like to be shot out of a cannon.
Pray For Lil, conversely, maintains the moody soul ballad vibe but puts a female set of vocals front and centre for the most part (Khan does duet at various points), as well as a delicious slice of bluesy guitar.
Final track Of Madness I Dream, meanwhile, rounds things off with a touch of the surreal to begin with, before disarming with a tender charmer.
Idle No More may have taken six years to arrive but it’s been well worth the wait.
Watch the video for Darkness:
Download picks: Bite My Tongue, Luckiest Man, Darkness, Of Madness I Dream, Pray For Lil, Bad Boy