Kingsauce

Please Don't Change the Channel

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    8
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A self-proclaimed "novelty pop" act hailing from New Jersey, Kingsauce writes music that has an overwhelming air of whimsical '60s pop. The upbeat, lighthearted melodies call to mind everyone from Jellyfish ("County Fair") to the Beatles ("Officer Friendly"), and while they would be perfectly palatable pop ditties on their own, a closer listen to the lyrics reveals that these seemingly sweet odes to things like the Tunnel of Love contain mischievous lines like "Maybe I'll get to second base/Maybe I'll get slapped." The music is fine and the bandmembers' ability to express their influences so effortlessly shows a command of their instruments, but the jokes tend to wear a little thin in songs like "Cardboard License Plates (Back in the Slammer Again)" that near the five-minute mark. "The Ballad of Ernie and Bert" ponders what the Muppet duo's day jobs were and tells how Mr. Hooper freaked out after doing too much of Bert's coke, while the fuzzy Monkees rock of "Willy Whistle" finds frontman Rich Chodes looking for a mute TV clown he remembers from his youth, but who no one else recalls. "Playing in a Beatles Cover Band Blues" is among the most questionably amusing tracks, with lyrics such as "Never have a problem getting jobs/Our Ringo's connected to the mob/I play the part of John, don't you know/They shoot me at the end of every show." The record also includes odes to "Livin' With the Yentas" (in a '70s Funkadelic style), Rerun and the gang ("What's Happenin'"), and The Bad News Bears ("Jackie Earl Haley"). The title track finds Chodes pleading to everyone not to change the channel, because he'd much rather watch Zoom than Seinfeld, Friends, or "gay midget bedwetters" on some talk show. The comedic lyrical slant is really the only thing separating Kingsauce from the legions of '60s throwback popsters springing up, and the band is better off for it. The group has more in common with Dr. Demento-approved "mad music and crazy comedy" than the Orange Twin scene, and, though the jokes seem forced at times, generally Kingsauce does a fine job aligning itself with the likes of Allan Sherman, Randy Newman, Barnes & Barnes, Shel Silverstein, and Radio Free Vestibule.