Smart or smartass - it doesn't matter anyway
popoff2 | Dallas, TX United States | 07/25/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The first time I ever heard King Missile, it was at an outdoor July 4th show in Reston, VA, sponsored by WHFS. They played many songs from this album, as it had just been released. I was a religion major in college, getting a BA in "BS", during the rise of "Political Correctness" on the university front. When I heard King Missile play, I knew that we had a common goal in life. I had to have this on tape and since I have played it to death I am about to purchase it on CD. This CD pokes fun at EVERYONE and helps us laugh at ourselves. And, they ROCK in their own special smartass way. This release is polished in comparison to their earlier stuff, but not as disgusting as their later stuff. Listen to the samples before you buy though... It's not up everyone's alley."
A really important thing is no longer missing from your life
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 07/26/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have wondered what the stuffed shirts at Atlantic Records must have had running through their minds when King Missile delivered their major label debut. Scattered songs that often just seem like prattling narratives only to pick up a couple songs later. Acerbic lyrics that are either bizarrely funny of insanely disjointed. A lead singer that does the majority of the album in sing speak. And nothing that even remotely sounds like a pop single.
My guess is they crapped themselves.
As for me, the first time I heard "I Wish" on legendary alt-rock station WHFS, I was hooked. John S. Hall's lyrics often came across as brilliantly smartasch, and the songs often were utterly without melody. But when the words coming at you at 100mph included such non-sequiturs as "I have clairvoyant paranoia," melody wasn't important. One imagines a young Beck hearing "Life" or "I Wish" in the years before "Loser."
The politically correct kick in the crotch "The Indians" is the perfect example. A native American tom-tom pumps away as Hall chats about corn, maize, Columbus and cockroaches. It makes little sense in bits but is a terrific whole. You can see on "The Way To Salvation" how Hall would eventually make his move into the world of Poetry Slams. But King Missile was a heck of a band. Drummer David Ramirez, Guitarist David Rick and secret weapon keyboardist Chris Xefos gave Hall everything from punk rock blasts to artistic cacophony worthy of Frank Zappa to lay his words upon. On "The Way To Salvation" (and for the follow-up "Happy Hour" and the near hit "Detachable Penis"), this is the album that King Missile had their act down."