Ever known one of those people given to repulsively absurd, detailed personal attacks of venomous cynicism? Well, that's the whole King Missile shtick. The current trend for professional therapy is exploited for comic purposes in the self-help-tape voice of "Failure." It may be as strongly worded as Jonathan Swift (read A Modest Proposal) and exaggerated as Voltaire (compare Pangloss' philosophy to track one). But, listen to the examination of the penis complex in "A Good Hard Look" and you will have to agree that King Missile is the literary satire of crude "toilet talk." Aside from such language games, King Missile also provides imaginative, surreal stories. Consider that of the ultra-brittle "Bone China Boy," "The Adventures of Planky" (Planky is a lump of plankton), and "The Little Sandwich That Got a Guilt Complex Because He Was the Sole Survivor of a Horrible Bus Crash." All this bathos is delivered in a casual, conversational, story-telling mode with little singing. A notable exception is the "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah"-on-Prozac piece, "Despair." The background is mostly collages of "cool," hard rock distorted guitar and drum phrases with a heavy rhythm and no melody. Plenty of variety is added here, too, like the Asian exoticism of Oriental instrumentation on "Monks" and the cheesy-churchy organ, one of many decidedly un-PC pieces, "Gay/Not Gay." Failure is story time for jaded scenesters.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Tom Schulte