King Kong

The Big Bang

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King Kong, long a part of the indie in-crowd, is the sort of band that you listen closely to not because the music is so great, but because you may miss some smarmy uptake delivered wryly by lead "singer" Ethan Buckler, whose vocals are a monotone Speak & Spell. The Big Bang is the conceptual bookend to 1995's Me Hungry, an album celebrating our Neanderthal roots both lyrically and in construction. The concept here, one that has been celebrated consistently by unimaginative pop artists since the '60s, is about outer space and yearning for reunion. Apparently unimpressed by the darkwave electro revolution going on all around, King Kong continues campy, keyboard-saturated dance songs, such as "Space Travel," that sound eerily like Quintron attempting to be the B-52's. Former Royal Trux co-leader and all-around Drag City bad boy Neil Thomas Hagerty lends the first outside production hand the four-piece has ever seen, giving the minimalist/absurdist songs a warm, ethereal quality, especially on "Deep Blue Sky." He cannot saved the doomed ship, however. To say they're off track now would be to neglect acknowledgement that their trajectory was never exactly on course.

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