The Japanese musical scene is adept at taking American rock, reverse-engineering the circuitry, and returning with something that’s just as rude, twice as loud and (often) plenty strange. The King Brothers have been doing their thing in Japan for almost 20 years now, but this is the first time I’ve heard this particular outfit.
There’s nothing exceptionally weird about the King Brothers (unlike, say, Babymetal), but their honky-tonk Southern roadhouse blues boogie is sure in line with the other categories. The trio blasts out the type of music that fits in perfectly with a car chase, especially if it ends with one or more cars exploding in a plume of light. Like the Zoobombs, they are unafraid to take the signature fist-pumping sounds of the good-time American rock-and-roll, like snarling slide guitar wails (“Bang! Blues”) and harmonica call-and-response (“odorushikabane”) and put them on top of their all-out punkified approach.
The band is not always throwing a box of roman candles on the fire, though. The odd-metered “Farthest End” brings forth the spirit of Faith No More and other prog-rock flavors, while the closing “Sympathy For The xxxxx” is clearly a tribute to the Rolling Stones and their song of a similar name.
The King Brothers’ performance is supposed to be incendiary, and I have no doubts about this. I’ve heard first-hand accounts of the band standing in trash cans to play, and while their Wikipedia page is short on information, it does mention the band being banned in Osaka after “destructive live shows”. Here’s hoping this album brings the band back to the US to tour.