King Brothers’ index: CDs; Live Shows

--This rockin’ trio take the blues into primal scream territory, and live they put it in your face--


KING BROTHERS

Masafumi Koyama--guitar & vocal
Keizo Matsuo--guitar & vocal
Shinnosuke--bass (new--'08)
Taichi--drums (new--'08)

Jun Fujimoto--drums (left after 13)


(white) (LP) -- (36:11) -- (1998) -- Bulb -- BLB-057 (U.S. release)

  1. Jigoku E Ochiro!! (Go To Hell!!)
  2. Tamashii O Uriwatase (Sell Your Soul)
  3. Minagoroshi No Blues (Kill Everyone Blues)
  4. Noriokurenna (Catch The Bus)
  5. Moetsukitai (I Want To Burn Out)
  6. King Beat
  7. Kusacchimauze (Rot Now)
  8. 8 Kazoero!!! (Count To 8!!!)
  9. Guchi Tarennayo (Stop Complaining)
  10. King Of Boogie
  11. Yatsu-Zaki Blues (Tear It Up Blues)
  12. Spy Boys
THE KING BROTHERS’ first, was first released here. Occasionally, they get a good riff and stomp it in the ground. Often the riff is just OK, and they thrash away at it anyway. The primitive intensity stays in your face. The screaming is full throttle. Their vocal stylings were stolen from The Legendary Stardust Cowboy’s ‘Paralyzed’. They probably kicked his ass, too! Now and again the blues based riffage grounds them enough to make it clear you’re listening to the hottest, most undisciplined rock ‘n’ roll ever recorded, then it kicks back to three guys making the biggest racket they possibly can.
 

(blue) -- (24:34) -- (1999) -- LD&K Inc. -- YSGR-003

  1. (star--bigger star--star)
  2. Big Boss
  3. Minagoroshi No Blues (Kill Everyone Blues)
  4. Taikutsu Jigoku (Bored To Hell)
  5. Dead Soul
  6. Moetsukiyai (Burning Love)
  7. King Beat
  8. 99
This one’s more powerful than the first, in the same vein. The production provides a fuller sound. The songs are more developed, and a bit more varied. Even the screaming seems more varied. The blues roots are becoming more obvious, but these guys rock! The added structure doesn’t tame their anger. Perhaps the insanity is toned down a bit, but the growing depth in songwriting is well worth it. There’s twenty minutes of silence at the end of the eighth track (not included in the 24:34). It doesn’t lead to an extra song, but your neighbors will definitely appreciate the respite after this assault.
 

(red) -- (23:32) -- (2000) -- Deckrec Records -- DCRC-0015

  1. Lulu
  2. Introduction
  3. Spy Boys
  4. Kusottare No Uta (Asshole’s Song)
  5. Mushakusha (I’m Pissed Off)
  6. Organism
  7. Deko Voko Deko
  8. Nori Nori Tengoku (Ride On Heaven)
Okker T joins them here. It’s the only fact disclosed in the CD. Word is that Okker T is Oka of LULU’S MARBLE. That organ! Those screams! It has to be her! The mania is increasingly contained by the song structures, but there’s mania to spare. The added structure is strengthening the songs, which are emerging from this evil, rockin’ swamp-pit as snarling, angry creatures. With Okker T’s organ and female screams in the mix, this is my favorite of their releases. Imagine, THE KING BROTHERS and Oka screaming together! For crazy rockin’ dementia you can’t beat primal therapy like this!
 
(rainbow) -- (73:01) -- (2001) -- Toshiba Records -- TOCT-24592
  1. Kie Useru (Get Lost!)
  2. Aa!! Aah
  3. Mushakusha (I’m Pissed Off)
  4. Asu Wo Koero (Beyond Tomorrow)
  5. (right arrow--right arrow--scribble--left arrow)
  6. Moetsukirumade (Until I Burn Out)
  7. (oblong made of radiating lines)
  8. Rhythm
  9. Yokukike!! Sekai (Listen Carefully World)
  10. Yami No Naka Blues (Darkness Blues)
  11. Maaha Karabu (Mach Club)
  1. Niji To Kumo (Rainbow And Cloud)
  2. Jitterbug Rock
Hey! They’ve slowed down! The distinctive vocals remain, but they’re not always screaming. It’s a departure for THE KING BROTHERS, but the new, slower, bluesier tracks are a step forward. Old fans may complain, but the rough edge isn’t lost. They’ve just let their bluesier roots out of the bag, and are working new territory with longer songs that moan and wander. It reminds me some of Exile On Main Street period ROLLING STONES (minus Jagger) banging out riffs and letting them flow. There’s less rocking, but there’s more to listen to, and the wider range gives us promise of an intriguing future.
 

King Brothers -- (47:57) -- (2001) -- In The Red -- 082 (U.S. release)

  1. Kusottare (Oh Shit!)
  2. Yakekuso Rock (Desperation Rock)
  3. Super X
  4. Dead Soul
  5. (three stars)
  6. Nori Nori Tengoku (Good Time In Heaven)
  7. Big Boss
  8. Mushakusha (Irritatetatirri) (I’m Pissed Off)
  9. Drum Rock (Part II)
  10. Orgarhythm
  11. Lulu
   12.  Deko Voko Deko
    ----(untitled)
It’s a good time for another U.S. release, and a good introduction to current KING BROTHERS’ stylings. Seven of these songs were recorded before--tracks 4, 5, & 7 on (blue); and tracks 6, 8, 11, & 12 on (red)--but all are rerecorded here, and many have been rearranged, some substantially. There’s less of the blues roots than on the (rainbow) release, but there’s a good amount of variety, and real experimentation going on within THE KING BROTHERS’ rockin’ framework. The slower songs here play with a ‘50s-style raunch factor. It’s an intriguing release, and continues to stretch what they are.
 

6x3 -- (29:44) -- (2002) -- Toshiba Records -- TOCT-24684

  1. Doo Doo Scratch
  2. Paint It Black!!
  3. 1979
  4. There Is Nothing
  5. Sonics
  6. Birth Of The Cool
Jon Spencer produced, adding new instrumentation and dynamics to THE KING BROTHERS’ sound. The pace is slowed, but no less intense, and the songwriting is stretching in strange new ways. The guitars, still ragged, are inching into a tortured psychedelia. ‘Doo Doo Scratch’ features Jon and his kid. ‘Paint It Black!!’ isn’t THE ROLLING STONES’ tune. ‘1979’ grows into a chorus of maniacs. ‘There Is Nothing’ starts as a slow percussive shuffle, but erupts in an explosion of guitar. ‘Sonics’ rocks, and ‘Birth Of The Cool’ (7:58) delights with haunting bg vocals and a trek into a sonic wilderness.
 

13 -- (55:30) -- (2003) -- Toshiba/EMI -- TOCT-24936

  1. 100%
  2. Grand Funk
  3. Neko Ga Inai (The Cat Is Missing)
  4. Doka Doka (Stomp Stomp)
  5. Yuuhi No Machi (Sunset’s Town)
  6. Drops
  7. Message
  8. Pocket No Naka (In A Pocket)
  9. Karappo (Empty)
  10. Hitotsubu No Namida (A Teardrop)
  11. Doko E Mo Ikenai (I Can’t Go Anywhere)
  1. Hajimari No Asa (Morning Of The Beginning)
  2. Subarashii Sekai (Wonderful World)

 

‘100%’ starts 13 off right with a classic ROLLING STONES sound. Gradually, though, things slow to a bluesier mode. THE KING BROTHERS have morphed their unique style into a classic ‘70s blues/rock. Their respect for the music shows, and they’ve got the spit and gism to work it. Even when things slow to a downers-crunching, hazy stupor, somehow the guitars climb to a blissful peak. When the horns finally kick in, they feel natural. There’s one more slow number ahead. Fall into it. You’ll find the beauty. Honest, it’s not an old ROLLING STONES record, and it’s much better than the new ones!
 

Blues -- (46:59) -- (2004) -- UKProject Co. Ltd. -- UKCD-1111

  1. S.S.S.S
  2. Big Beat
  3. Monster
  4. 69
  5. Instrumental (pt. 1)
  6. Zeppelin
  7. Party
  8. D.D.D
  9. Oh Yeah Baby
  10. (four stars)
Blues features some of the same ballsy ‘70s blues rock as 13, but with a good deal more of the crazed rambunctiousness that is the KING BROTHERS. Jun Fujimoto is replaced by “dangerous support” drummer Shinji Wada. The occasional organ and sax appear. As things progress, they get darker. It’s like there’s a big monster in the room, and he’s OK until at a certain point he loses it and needs to break some furniture. Then the band joins in, and soon everyone is keeping the beat by smashing your furniture to pieces. For weeks afterwards everyone tells you what a great party it was.

---LIVE---


The King Brothers/Tyler Keith & The Preacher’s Kids--Maxwells--4/6/01
        THE KING BROTHERS came out wearing brown paper-sacks over their heads, with little holes cut for the mouth, nose, and eyes. They were a trio of a drummer and two guitarists. I think there actually was one point in the set where the momentum came to a stop while one of the guitarists tuned up and the other adjusted equipment. At all other times the drummer was pounding out a beat and at least one or the other of the guitarists was grinding out chords, or leading the crowd in a shout. This band rocked out from the very beginning of the set. The paper-bags didn’t last long. By the end of the first song, both the guitarists had done excursions into the crowd, and one had brought his microphone with him and parked it out there about five feet from the stage. Off and on he did much of his singing out in the crowd with us, while the other band members pounded, banged, and shouted the songs out. Unless he was singing he tended to do most of his guitar playing crouched on the floor, but he’d pop up for the vocals. The other guitarist jumped about the stage in frantic spasms, where his arms would erratically shoot away from his body, while his legs quivered, and his body shook to the beat. It was the dance of a cartoon character in human form. Throughout the set, the drummer kept the beat pounding, and as one guitarist pummeled a song into its final submission, his partner would start up the next, and they’d be off again. The songs rocked with an occasional blues-based flourish, but it was the full-on energy that made the impression. They were well-appreciated by the delighted audience.

The King Brothers/Us Vs. Them--Continental--4/10/01
        It took THE KING BROTHERS a while to set up, and then they took a break to change into their stage gear. It was well worth the wait, though. Once again, they put on a kick-ass show, and a small contingent of the reasonably-sized Continental crowd went totally nuts along with them. It seemed to be the same material as the Maxwells show, and the performance was similar as well, but the energy level was even higher, and this time the audience was having easily as much fun as the band. Again much of the show happened out in the audience, as Masafumi and Keizo, the guitarists, regularly stormed it and made it their own. Regularly audience members would place Masafumi Koyama’s mic stand back on the stage, but it was never long before he dragged it back out into the audience with him. It was one big, crazy-fun time. Inspired by the warmth of the reception, the band played a longer set, and by the time it was over, everyone who wasn’t totally blown away, was certainly well-satisfied.