Review of the new Bad news boys (f.k.a. King Khan & The BBQ Show)

In The Red

Bad News boys

Bad News Boys

Artist: Bad News Boys (f.k.a. King Khan & The BBQ Show)

Rating: 7/10

After a break of over five years, King Khan & BBQ Show are back with a new album and a “new” name…sort of. You see, Bad News Boys was the band’s original handle way back when they first started and the Montreal duo have turned back the clock to those days of yore for the band’s and the new album’s moniker. Depending on where you look, it seems they are using both names for now, perhaps to aid in transition. The name change has been a source of confusion for their fans but fortunately, the band have offered something resembling an explanation of their official Facebook page:

we liked the name up until a point, but between the various ‘fan’ misspellings and jumbles to ‘fan’ ADD crediting to the confusion it caused our own projects/business **the ‘BBQ’ portion disappearing in this new mainstream-consumer ‘underground’ (pissing Sultan off)… people seriously not hearing any difference between kkbbq and kk & the shrines (pissing khan off) ** to the fact that we now can come full-circle, past a bunch of personal problems and spiritual growth and life changes, it just makes sense now. we aren’t the same folks we were even last year. we need to also weed some folks out. we love our FANS. we hope to just move on, whatever risk that entails. or however that makes YOU feel. this is for US. 
buy records and read liners. or at least research the bands you like when you download. understand who they are. who does what. why they do what they do. what music THEY like. it’s more rewarding! we do the same.
hope you come along for this ride!

Bad News Boys the album also does its fair share of mining the past stylistically. The opening track “AloneAgain” is a decidedly 50’s-flavored tune with Buddy Holly-like guitar and doo-wop backing vocals that hold up a forlorn refrain of loneliness. This early rock n’ roll motif is often filtered through a modern lens with doses of early punk to reinforce the twisted hooks on tracks like “KissMySister’sFist”, “WeAretheChampion” and particularly “ByeByeBhai” with its shimmery guitars chant-like vocals that conjure some kind of dreamy, surreal future-past dancehall landscape that is legitimately pretty and eandearing. “Ocean of Love” and “Never Felt Like This” also carry this dynamic admirably.

The other half of this two-headed monster of a record is the heavy-handed, bombastic garage/soul/surf stew that one would expect from KK&BBQ. “Illuminations” and “When Will I Be Tamed?” are the strongest examples of this element. The smart pacing of the tracks allows the predominant styles to coexist and even coalesce into a cohesive flow. The heavier songs are placed wisely betwixt the ballads, keeping things fresh. It’s a fun record and at 32 minutes long, it stays fresh long enough make it work.

Joe Romeo

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