Johnny Kowalski & The Sexy Weirdos – Kill The Beast
Birmingham based gypsy folk band release their new album. .
With vocals sounding like a cross between Marc Almond and Joe Strummer, and music somewhere between Spanish Flamenco, New Orleans jazz and European travellers, Johnny Kowalski & The Sexy Weirdos bring us their unique blend of gypsy-carnival-punk.
With added influences from reggae and ska, Kill The Beast is a fast paced, high excitement album which parties along from the first few seconds to the final few. At little over thirty minutes the lads cram in an unbelievable array of good-time feelings spread over ten tracks.
Intentions are made clear with the madcap opener Nailbiter, where Johnny’s punkesque vocals shout over superb musicianship with screeching violins and celebratory brass. Allegedly using The Clash’s tuba player from Sandinista, mixing desk from Bowie, guitar from Joy Division and drum kit from Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, The Sexy Weirdo’s modern day take on anarchic carnival sounds are both enthralling and original.
Tequila Song is the barmy drinking song of the year. A frenetic ska tune tipping a hat in the direction of The Specials and Selector, you’ll be singing it for ages afterwards. Its subject matter probably won’t win it much airplay but that’s all the more reason to get a copy of Kill The Beast and hear it for yourself.
Question The Answers has touches of Northern Soul and Motown and Same Mistakes has a horn section that stomps around all over the place. Raggle Taggle adds Gaelic influences to the fun.
Midway through The Good Shark there’s a brilliant dub touch followed by a sumptuous bass and vocals interlude. A bit of a missed opportunity which could have seen a terrific dub section lasting to the end of the track, but that’s a rare criticism of an otherwise thoroughly entertaining album.
Johnny Kowalski & The Sexy Weirdos are fun and incredibly talented songwriters and musicians too.
Published on Louder Than War 12/06/14 - here