Ever since the first Nuggets compilation in 1972, garage rock revivals have cycled around every few years or so. Recent flare-ups have led to successful careers for bands like the White Stripes, the Black Lips, the psychedelic folk-rock variant of the Allah-Las and the punky San Francisco scene that has spawned the likes of Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees. But one man whose garage rock credentials transcend mere cycles is Kid Congo Powers, who over the course of more than three decades has served as a celebrated guitar-slinger for the likes of the Cramps, the Gun Club and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. For the past few years, he’s stepped into the role of front man, leading Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds, who return this spring with Haunted Head, their latest batch of swampy, fuzzy stompers.
Leaning towards the oddball side in terms of subject matter, Kid Congo takes his band through a dozen tales of freaks, monsters and cult favorite actresses (“Su Su,” their tribute to Susan Tyrell, and “Killer Diller,” a paean to Phyllis Diller). Spooky at times, but genuinely funky too, Haunted Head is yet another classic from a true veteran of the garage rock game, proving that such raucous fun can never die – at least in the hands of a master!
- Eric J. Lawrence
Banner Photo by Emi Kecahob