Posts Tagged ‘Bargain Bin Records’

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Hailing from Canada, King Khan Unlimited have filled this release with biting social insights (mostly about their southern neighbour) driven by some very analogue sounding punk rock that will take you back to the hey day of CBGB’s (think Ramones, Dead Boys even Blondie). For all that they have found a very appropriate home on the Australian based Bargain Bin Records. Featuring his majesty’s dream line up of Bordeaux’s finest rock‘n’roll lifers, The Magnetix and Fredovitch (from King Khan & The Shrines), King Khan Unlimited’s new slab of punk rock is chock full of stinging social critique delivered with wit and a wry smile.

Their first single “Pigment Of Your Imagination” tackles the complicated topic of pigment as related to the tidal wave of racism all over the world. “Pigment Of Your Imagination” also features Eamon Sandwith from The Chats professing his love for, uh, Shea Butter amongst other things… Opening the charge is “Bedwetter”, a very Ramones-esque lament to exactly that. Heavy bass and drums underpin this song and you can imagine how great this would be live. Second song Narcissist has the refrain “narcissist, you don’t exist” and could be a tribute to the now former president of the United States (even though they reference Napoleon throughout the song). “Trapped in your own illusion” is much like the aftermath of 45 leaving office. Megpie Eyes is equally Dead Boys and The Stooges, with a heavy blues undertone.

The title track “Opiate Them Asses” carries along in the same vein as Narcissist, with messages of people being blinded by media and online tropes. Then we step away from the somewhat socio-political messaging to Al Capones Symphallytic Fever Dream, a song referencing what Al Capone might have dreamt about (whiskey running?!?) and exploring the Capone mythology in their own way. Crime Don’t Pay seems like a deliberately ironic song to include after a song about Al Capone. This morphs into Foaming At The Mouth, it took me while to realise that this one actually sounds a lot like The Vapours, Turning Japanese, never the less a good fun song.

The second half of the album is less hook-you-in, but is still pretty solid and listenable. Modern Frankenstein, Do You Wanna Get Hurt and Kamikazi are all pretty solid efforts, but compared to the first 3 songs are exactly what they are – solid B-sides. Pigment of Your Imagination has some interesting and clever word play. Kamikazi is an ode to over doing it on the drink, then crashing and burning(they will fit into the Bargain Bin collective well).

The end song is Play Safe has some nice plinky-plonk piano and is the most ballad type song on the album.

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“Opiate Them Asses” is a solid punk rock album. The songs where they are making a socio-political comment (perhaps where the bands passions lie) and that are underpinned by a great track are the strongest on the album. When the band settles in to just being a punk band singing about girls and beer the strengths taper off a bit (lyrically, the band are pretty clever almost through the whole album).

Opiate Them Asses is definitely a play through with the best songs being Bedwetter, Narcissist and Megpie Eyes, just don’t listen too hard to the second half and the whole thing will feel like its still all good fun the more you listen.

Released January 29th, 2021

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Three chords and boredom are a powerful concoction. Just ask Australian “shed rock” trio The Chats, just back off a sell-out UK tour on the back of a full-length debut. The sheer explosion of teenage joy at each live date proves they are more than viral-video sensations (yeah, you love “Smoko” – we all do!) but they are the garage-punk heroes we need right now. Revelling in the mundanity of modern teenage life, The Chats write tongue-in-cheek odes to smoke-breaks, masturbation, online issues and not being told what to do. There is complexity in their simplicity with solid, driven rhythms propelling the garage rock riffs. It’s perfect punk party music.

Sometimes just living life, how you want to live, is a revolutionary act. The Chats live that, and even if they don’t, they don’t care! They are readying a punk classic for 2020.

Band Members
Josh Price, Eamon Sandwith, Matt Boggis
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