The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black
The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black, who should have been part of the Great Punk Rock Break of 1992 That Didn’t Really Happen Thus Explaining Why… , don’t seem to get discouraged and continue to pound away, producing another excellent punk rock record. The band’s devotion to spectacle, full-frontal nudity at live shows, and simply some of the tightest three-chord melodic punk rock around maintain their staying power as a great, important, underground punk rock sensation.
In the normal course of a Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black show, there will be at least ten costume changes, set changes, guitar changes and eggs filled with paint bursting apart on naked ladies. All to the tune of select songs. Now, I haven’t seen them since Halloween of 1994 (was it that long ago? Wow!), but I’m sure they’ve put together some great skits to go along with new songs like “Bills to Pay,” “Shopping Spree,” and “Story of Vanilla.” Lyrically, a sampling of “Vanilla” gets you: “I am French! Vanilla on a cone!/ I am a sundae! Pure as the driven snow!/ Here I am. I’m your friend… ” Is that punk? Sure, if you happen to be vocalist Kembra Phaler singing in the nude, with dark blue body paint plastered all over your body. Along with the teeth all blacked out, too.
Black Date is a Punk rock record filled with great song after great song. There’s a song about underwear called “Underwear Drawer,” there’s a song about a pet’s disembodied head called “Do You Miss My Head?” There’s a song about professional punk rock lady wrestlers called “Punk Ladies of Wrestling.”
And it wouldn’t be a Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black album without the few really disturbing songs. That is, the ones that make you look twice at guitarist Samoa’s cake-makeup and blood-spatter face — to make sure it’s human: “Hard Nut to Crack,” “Living Will,” and “Black Date.” Creepy punk shit, man. I recommend their web site for more information: http://www.karenblack.com Cleopatra Records, 13428 Maxella #251, Marina Del Rey , CA 90292