King Me

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King Me is an auspicious introduction to Visqueen, a Seattle trio consisting of Rachel Flotard, Ben Hooker, and Kim Warnick. The band actually recorded two versions of the album, both with Barrett Jones (Nirvana, the Foo Fighters). In the tradition of Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks, the Modern Lovers' self-titled debut, and Lucinda Williams' Sweet Old World, they scrapped the first and started all over again. Somewhere along the way, they had smoothed over the rough edges, and the results sounded nothing like their live shows. So they went back to the studio and banged out these ten catchy blasts of energetic punk-pop in three and a half hours. A few small tweaks here and there and a short (27 minutes) yet potent debut was born. King Me blends British punk, new wave, power pop, and glam rock into a tasty concoction that brings to mind a cross between X-Ray Spex and Cheap Trick, with a little mod-era Who on the side (the "so sad" chorus of "Lovely Guilty" brings to mind "So Sad About Us," and Hooker is even pictured wearing a Tommy T-shirt in the CD booklet). Each member contributes more than a fair share to King Me's success -- Hooker on drums, Warnick on bass, and Flotard on guitar -- but the latter's strong, clear vocals are the band's secret weapon, a seductive cross between Robin Zander, Robert Pollard, and Kim Deal.

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