Album review: Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds, “La Araña Es La Vida”

by Jon E. Lynch

Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds, ‘La Araña Es La Vida’

Available: Now via In The Red Records as a download, CD, LP and, while supplies last, on mystery colored vinyl.

Kid Congo Powers is a legend. A legend that has maybe never fully received his comeuppance. Congo played live with The Gun Club but left before they recorded their debut to join pre-established scenesters The Cramps. He later returned to the psychobilly country punk fuzzers for a spell before joining Nick Cave as a Bad Seed. Since 1997, he has focused primarily on his own projects and has recently released his fourth album for In The Red (“Fuzz,” “Thee Oh Sees,” “Ex-Cult,” amongst countless others) with The Pink Monkey Birds.

“La Araña Es La Vida” is a scorcher of an album from start to finish, recorded in drummer Ron Miller’s Harveyville, Kansas, home/artist retreat/renovated high school gymnasium. Chugging album opener “Psychic Future” sets the tone, with riffs reminiscent of his days with The Gun Club. It should be said that enigmatic Gun Club frontman Jeffery Lee Pierce “forced” Powers into playing guitar, teaching him the open tuning style he’s honed to perfection. Instrumental tracks are staggered throughout, but never slow the pace. Ten minute-plus album closer “Five Points/Howards End/Nasty Hat” sums up the record nicely enough. Highly, highly recommended.

For fans of The Gun Club, X, King Khan & BBQ Show, The Cramps or The Dirt Bombs.

— Jon E. Lynch[email protected]


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