Wednesday, May 09, 2018

King Automatic - In the Blue Corner

Another Voodoo Rhythm Records release, King Automatic is a one man band who, on record, plays everything - guitar, bass, drums, keys, harp - with the magic of multi-tracking technology. His music covers a wide range of sounds, from high energy garage to soul to blues to ska to just plain odd, Tom Waits-ian wackiness. It can be a bit disconcerting as you go from song to song and style to style, but, for the most part at least, it works and all sounds like the King.

I'm not sure what a live show really is like, as there is a lot going on simultaneously on record, and I'm not sure how he could play the off-beat drum rhythms while playing keys, for instance, but I'd go see it!

As the record progresses, so do the musical genres - there's a bit of exotica here and power-pop there and a touch of punk over yonder, a splash of new wave and even some jazzy swing. I totally dig the trashy soul/garage (almost Black Joe Lewis-y) but could take-or-leave the ska-isms (though, to be honest, since the songs have their own weirdness to them, they're not as annoying as "straight" ska). But, as a whole, this is a highly entertaining disc and I appreciate the talent that goes into one person doing all of this. I see that he has been in Vegas - of course, I didn't know about him at the time - so, I hope that he returns so I can check out the hub-bub live!