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Funny Farm

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Album Review

After the demise of Slint and numerous other bands in the early '90s Louisville scene, a number of offshoots emerged and went on to great things, many becoming heavily involved in the post-rock movement of Chicago. One such project, King Kong, led by ex-Slint member Ethan Buckler, didn't go on to such popularity but remains an important part of the remnants of that scene, supported locally by the Drag City record label. The Chicago-bound projects followed a direction heavily influenced by jazz and fusion, while groups like King Kong opted for very untraditional forms of experimental rock. Buckler's nonsensical lyrics and unorthodox delivery are so reminiscent of Fred Schneider's older songwriting that King Kong, at times, seems not unlike a B-52's parody band. The group's second release, Funny Farm, is a humorous and acerbic look at country living from the perspective of city dwellers (even though their city is somewhat removed from the common ideas of an urban metropolis). The arrangements are fun and playful, as organs and synths creep in among neatly crafted guitar lines and witty lyrics, making for an incredibly live texture — very fitting for a record with such a lack of seriousness. Tracks such as "Dirty City, Rainy Day" and "Scooba Dooba Diver" contain hard groove basslines that are both infectious and extremely danceable. A refreshing release from a genre hardly known for its accessibility (or its dancefloor possibilities).


Genre: Dance

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Ethan Buckler was originally the bassist for underground Louisville, KY, sensations Slint during the late '80s, but after recording the 1989 album Tweez with the group, Buckler wanted to start a dance band in the vein of early B-52's. Buckler left and formed King Kong with vocalist Amy Greenwood, bassist Willie Maclean, and drummer Ray Rizzo. The first order of business for the band was to record a self-released 7". By 1990, King Kong had worked out a deal with Trash Flow Records, which promptly...
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Funny Farm, King Kong
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