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The Kings of Nuthin' - Over the Counter Culture (Cover Artwork)

The Kings of Nuthin'

The Kings of Nuthin': Over the Counter CultureOver the Counter Culture (2006)
Sailor's Grave Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: adamAdam
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Those sneaky Germans managed to get this record out last year under the title of Punk Rock Rhythm & Blues, which is really the most remarkably blunt way to describe Boston's Kings of Nuthin'. The band's first full-length in four years is a winner, comprised of a slate of quality originals and a mix .
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Those sneaky Germans managed to get this record out last year under the title of Punk Rock Rhythm & Blues, which is really the most remarkably blunt way to describe Boston's Kings of Nuthin'. The band's first full-length in four years is a winner, comprised of a slate of quality originals and a mix of nicely chosen covers all presented in the Kings' trademark style. Once again the band's pulled together `50s rock and roll, swing and big band music, channeled it through some vintage street punk influences and presented with enough barely-controlled energy as possible.

The album's title track (and theme song) brings the elements into focus. Torr Skoog grunts and slurs his way through the lyrics not unlike fellow Bostonian Dicky Barrett. He's backed by Liam Crill's aggressive drumming, the honky-tonk piano of Turpentine Brother Zack Brines and a bit of vintage rock guitar from Trafton Waldrop. The accompaniment is generous, with each song featuring the percussive click of an upright bass, a washboard player and two if not three saxophones. This formula's worked into the covers, quite effectively claiming them as the Kings' rightful domain. Their cover of the Anti-Nowhere League's "For You" is infinitely more fun and interesting than Lars Frederiksen's recent attempt, and Peter & the Test Tube Babies' "Banned from the Pubs" is so appropriate to this band's own storied history. A bit of vintage R&B shines through with Doc Starkes and the Night Riders' "Women and Cadillacs" as well as songs from Hank Ballard and the Midnighters and `50s vocalist Young Jesse. On the punk side of things, there's an understandably aggressive cover of the Blitz' "Nation of Fire," a nice version of Stiff Little Fingers' "Here We Are Nowhere" and a song from the infamously young-at-their-start `70s punk act Eater.

Still, with all the covers and famous names gracing the liner notes, the Kings of Nuthin' are at their best with their own material. "Only Time" is the real highlight of the album, an obvious single and a simply well written song by any measure (the transition between verse and chorus is remarkably fluid and catchy). The Kings are packing some serious songwriting skills, and while their rearrangements are interesting it would be nicer to see that muscle flexed with more original material.

Over the Counter Culture should be required listening for anyone into modern day U.S. street punk, as it easily outshines much of it when thrown in that category. This should have legs outside that scene though, as this is really more fun than anything else released this year.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Clash - London CallingBouncing Souls - The Gold RecordRamones - RamonesRancid - ... And Out Come The WolvesAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyNOFX - The DeclineBouncing Souls - Hopeless RomanticPropagandhi - Today's Empires, Tomorrow's AshesThe Bronx - The Bronx (2006)The Clash - The Clash

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Tempest_Bob (January 20, 2009)

Got into the band not long ago after hearing about them on Shite n' Onions, and reading the review here.

Now I can't get enough of the Kings... XD

They're one of a few reasons I'd like to get the hell out of Australia and move to Boston ;)

Holy_Hack_Ben (May 31, 2006)

Great Album. Hope they do a full US tour sometime soon.

Anonymous (May 18, 2006)

great stuff

adam (May 16, 2006)

"No Brains"

-adam

Anonymous (May 16, 2006)

Ha. Hurray for Eater! What song do they cover?

"Outside View" or "Thinkin of the USA?"

-Will

swingline (May 16, 2006)

pretty dissapointed in this release. fight songs for fuck ups was so much better... although i will give it a few more listens to be fair

Anonymous (May 16, 2006)

great stuff

sxenester (May 16, 2006)

these guys are fucking amazing, and they do "here we are nowhere" a few seconds faster than SLF. been dying to see them for ages, legendary live shows, new bosstones, rabble rabble brummel.

Mute98 (May 16, 2006)

in my opinion theyre the best thing outta boston.. i love these guys

Anonymous (May 16, 2006)

Good review. Great band.

I chance happened upon this band 5 years ago and mail ordered their Get Busy Livin'... EP and loved it. I've been meaning to pick up Fight Songs forever but forsome reason just haven't got around to it yet. Now they have this out! I'm so behind the times.

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