Kid Congo Powers
& the Pink Monkey Birds
Five Greasy Pieces
(In the Red)
The Five Greasy Pieces single series from Kid Congo Powers serves a dual purpose: you get five fantastic pieces of psychedelic garage from his forthcoming album with the Pink Monkey Birds, Gorilla Rose, as well as five stellar b-sides. The whole thing, when completed, is housed in a custom box, adorned with an image of a dead chicken. Considering the singles themselves come in sleeves that look like checkered tablecloths, a la something you might have out for a picnic, it’s fairly appropo.
But, imagery aside, what of the songs? Well, I’ve been listening to the album tracks (“Hills of Pills,” “Goldin Browne,” “Our Other World,” Catsuit Fruit,” and “Bobo Boogaloo,” for thems that care) since I interviewed Kid Congo back in February. Hell, “Goldin Browne” has been a set staple since early last year. These tracks are almost familiar friends by this point, so it’s probably new to 99% of the folks who’ve gotten the series, considering the album doesn’t come out until next Tuesday. It’s a looser, freakier version of what the band did on Dracula Boots, and the b-sides only further that aesthetic.
“Jump Into the Fire” is a hallucinatory trip, looping back around on itself, while the Haunted George and Illuminoids remix of the Boots cut “LSDC” streamlines it into a something simultaneously more rocking and a little more freaky. They cover Bowie’s glam rocker “Cracked Actor” admirably, leaving it recognizable, yet still dirtying it up and rendering it a little sleazier in the process. The real gem of the set, however, is the way Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds perform a Mexicali work-up on the Troggs’ “Wild Thing.” Leaving the song a stomper, they kick up the organ and give you a borracho singalong.
If you can track down a copy of the set, grab it. It sold out, and is limited to 250 copies, so you might have to pay more than the $30 I lucked into my copy for. Still, given the killer songs, the solid production, and the b-sides (which I am told will never be available anywhere else), to say nothing of the fact that these are on some thick-ass vinyl (not as thick as the new Off! single, but close), you’d do well to grab it up if you see it.