By The King Khan & BBQ Show
In the last few years King Khan and BBQ Show have blazed a trail through the garage rock scene, which so many other 'In The Red' bands have trodden. With a reputation for debaucherous, sleazy and exhilarating live performances of their raw guitar sounds, they've deservedly become something of an underground phenomenon. More a spectacle than a band. This, their third full length album, comes after a host of supplementary distractions that have kept Khan and BBQ (aka Mark Sultan) busy with their own releases.
On first take, 'Invisible Girl' is a chip off the old block. It's the unmistakeably jovial sounds of King Khan and BBQ as they pay respects to 60s freakbeat era bands and more scuzzy garage punk sounds. You only need to get three tracks in before you encounter the unholy, and by now infamous, trademark stomp of the duo, which despite its familiarity, still electrifies.
There are no blistering tracks like you might have found on previous releases, a lot of the record takes a sedentary, meandering approach. If anything, I think attention to detail is the big change in 'Invisible Girl.' Particularly the backing vocals, which are more intricate, even in their rough, round about style. The Doo-Wop take on the duo's sound is certainly founded more here. Opener 'Anala' features some of that warm, harmony play that is so distinctive of the genre. Of course, it's not for the purists, merely having great fun with the traditions of rock and roll. The nostalgia on 'I'll Be Lovin' You' is in the American Graffiti vein, and at the midpoint of the album, exemplifies Khan and BBQ's continuous charge of crude but sweet energy that keeps them chugging throughout the record. The theatrical, show-business guises that Khan and BBQ maintain spill out into the music in many instances. 'Animal Party' harks back to many of those part spoken-word soul singles. And there's cheeky, over-the-top crooning in places.
A grower for sure, 'Invisible' Girl is a bona fide trip through the warped vintage wonderland of King Khan and BBQ Show. Perhaps not as rough and ready as many might be hoping for, but this showcases a band that has honed a peculiar brand of the subversively funny mixed with classic sounds. They manage it without coming across as spoof, rather a great fun band that is well versed in the most superb parts of 60s music.