The classic garage rock sound of the 60s - blunt, fuzzed out guitars, a pounding rhythm section, and often ridiculous lyrics barked, mumbled and spat out by avatistically charismatic singers - has had numerous revivals over the years, the most recent spurred on by welcoming independent record labels like Burger and Castleface. Another such label, In the Red Records, has been the home of Kid Congo Powers and his band, the Pink Monkey Birds, since 2009. This month, the label will release their latest missive, La Araña Es La Vida, the quartet's fourth collection of top-tier garage rock tunes, inspired by the originators from 50 years ago, as well as the various stops in Kid Congo's own storied career with bands like the Cramps, the Gun Club, and Nick Cave's Bad Seeds.
Recorded in a Kansas high school gym, Kid Congo and his avian mates tear through a dozen darkly humorous songs, with titles like "Coyote Conundrum" and "Karate Monkey." He also features nods to his Latino roots on tracks like "Chicano Studies" and the album's title inspiration, "La Araña." But what ties all of it together is a dedication of purpose: to play some of the most toe-tapping rock & roll available today. And this latest release may very well be their most potent effort to date.
-Eric J. Lawrence