Album: Kingpins of Love (EP)
Style: New Wave Indie-Rock
Similar Bands: A's, Dead Milkmen, Ween, Oingo Boingo, Mr. Bungle, Madness
"One Word" Review: Silly Neurotic Pop
Based Out Of: Philadelphia, Pa
Label: LunchBeat Records
Kingpins of Love (1987)
- Precious Love Boat 3:06
- Nervous 2:28
- Motzart (Thrashed on Classics) 1:59
- True Confessions 3:17
Members & Other Bands:
Brian McGillin - Guitar, Backing Vox
Peter McCoubrey - Bass, Backing Vox (Hooligans, Erinn Flynn)
Rocco Sacco - Vox, Front & Back Covers (Ambush Bugs)
William Blake Fergusson - Lead Guitar, Backing Vox (Burn Witch Burn)
Larry Povlow - Drums
Kurt Schaffenberger - Cover Image
Michael McGettigan - Back Images
John Wicks - Recorded, Mixed, Engineered
Dan McCay - Recorded, Mixed, Engineered
Unknown-ness: I had never heard of these guys when I got the record. It must have been 15 years ago now, that my dad gave me this record. In my mind, I made up the story that people were cleaning out the storage area at his work here in Philly, and they found this record...or perhaps one of the guys from the band actually worked at the Mutual Funds company. Or there was a guy at his office who knew I liked music, and would give my dad tapes of odd music (Half Japanese, Butt Trumpet) for me to check out...perhaps it was from him. Anyway, it seemed interesting with the "silk screened" looking print job, and the collage artwork with words everywhere. The pictures on the back look make them look like a silly punk band, so I was excited to hear this slice of Philly history.
Album Review: I have to say that it feels like I've been listening to these 4 songs since I began liking music, so I love them for what they are, and as a complete whole. This is why I had to post them all as “stand out tracks.” I cannot pick one. They all show a different great aspect of the music, with True Confessions being the most straightforward song. I've read a little about them, all from other band web sites, (like their often partners, the Dead Milkmen) but there is not much about them on-line. This is another band that I cry for your help, especially since they were local to me. Were there other albums? Either way, here it goes.
The album starts off with a bit of a western feel, mixed with Adam & The Ants sound in “Precious Love Boat” After the intro, it picks up with very carnival esq guitars. There are many, many breaks in the tempo and the styles overlap like crazy. The vocals range from deep and weird to nasally and high, and still cartoony weird. The middle section is a great marching bit, and it reminds me of something along the lines of Mr. Bungle to Oingo Boingo, if at least for the theatrical vibe. The surf guitar breakdown is great and plays along so well with the bass that it is impossible to not enjoy. The song ends with a crazy laugh you might expect to hear from Madness. “Nervous” contains exactly that sense of urgency. The building guitars and bass create a dark and pulsating rhythm. It is a quick song, and the guitar work is perfectly placed. The vocals are again weird and cartoonish, but they do carry the nervous energy and tension that the song conveys.
“Mozart (Thrashed on Classics)” is cartoonish from start to finish, which is fitting, because most of the great cartoons featured classical music over the action sequences. The lyrics over it are fast and all over the place like good punk should be. It reminds me of “The Famous Polka” by They Might Be Giants; where it feels like they just put words to an instrumental song. Finishing up is the “mainstream” song of the quartet, “True Confessions.” The beginning sounds like it is going to launch into Nervous again, but the song becomes upbeat with the guitars and bass, and has a bouncy surf-guitar ska beat. The vocals are steadier, which is not necessarily a great thing, but it works because the song is not all over the place. There are many tempo sections, but these meld together very cohesively, and follow a natural order.
Stand Out Track:
Precious Love Boat
Hooligans - site