Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds – Haunted Head

On Haunted Head, the original pachuco cadaver, Kid Congo Powers, confidently refines that destructo-rapture that established his signature from the Cramps and Gun Club days up to and through Fur Bible and Congo Norvell.

Part Mississippi strip-show swamp menagerie abutting analog anomaly, the dark noir-ish baritone guitar makes things sound like an unfinished biker breakdown soundtrack. The entire record sounds as though it was recorded live at a construction site!

“What’s inside your Haunted Head?/ Are you alive or are you dead?”

Material titled “Dance Me Swamply” and the smoke-choked swing-fuzz of “Loud & Proud,” reminiscent of the Panther Burns, contributes to the nuttiness of cleanly recorded quicksand, leaving you twitching as the ground gives way to that sinking feeling of being ambushed by guitars.  Obsessed by the savvy of a short-term Mike Curb production, the material is split between instrumentals and echo-ey, reverbed, Syndicate Of Sound-like “Hey, Little Girl” vocals like those on the track “Killer Diller.” “Su Su” makes me koo-koo.

Whereas the previous Pink Monkey Birds record was an ongoing vice raid, this one sounds like that same band fighting off the trank darts during a rowdy encounter. It’s rock ‘n’ roll disguised as multiple stab wounds on a fruit peddler. You cannot imagine what comes next but it promises to be thrilling and disturbing.

Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds
Haunted Head
[In the Red]