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The Psychopathology of Everyday Life

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Album Review

With The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, the merry pranksters of King Missile continue with the formula established over ten years before on the classic Mystical S**t. It's simple, really. Vocalist John S. Hall recites his acerbic, often perverse narratives in a nasal monotone that suggests the know-it-all sitting behind you on the bus. While King Missile's actual music has assumed numerous forms over the years, Psychopathology finds Hall, Sasha Forte, and Bradford Reed sticking mainly to piano, samples, fiddle, and percussion, though the faux metal of "Chickens" harkens to their heavier past. Highlights include "JLH," in which Hall commends Jennifer Love Hewitt for not speaking out against war, politics, or 9/11. "Eating People" sets up the classic King Missile paradox, in which the listener is at once repulsed with Hall's logic, while being impressed that he's so convincing. And a running gag called "Pain Series" extends over five tracks, with Hall introducing the snippets as "poems," when they are, in fact, hilarious essays on how much stupid-fun swearing is. Not sure whether you'll get the joke? King Missile supplies the punch line on "Psychopathology"'s front cover: "WARNING! Contains lots of curses: Do Not Buy!"


Formed: 1986 in New York City, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Essentially a vehicle for the musings of John S. Hall, King Missile merged off-kilter spoken word monologues with eclectic, mildly psychedelic rock & roll. Hall's dry, absurdist sense of humor colored much of the group's output, blurring the lines between comedy, Beat poetry, narrative prose, and simple rock lyrics. Yet in spite of their focus on Hall's literary bent and all its New York artiness, King Missile was most definitely a band, and relied on music to play a much more than perfunctory role...
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