Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds | Joyride Records | In-Stores | Chicago Reader

Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds Recommended Free All Ages Soundboard

When: Sun., June 7, 3 p.m. 2009

Kid Congo Powers, aka Brian Tristan, built quite a resumé in the 80s, lending his wonderfully scuzzy, ultraprimitive guitar sound to the Cramps, the Gun Club, and the Bad Seeds, and since then he’s played in bands only a few degrees less legendary, like the Michael Gira project Angels of Light. He doesn’t have too many solo credits, though, and the recent Dracula Boots (In the Red)—the second album credited to Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds—makes it pretty obvious why. Though the record has a gloriously demented garage-trash sound, soaked in raunchy, reverberating fuzz and thickened with swampy slide-guitar ooze, aside from some well-chosen covers the material is forgettable; not even Tristan’s dashes of Bo Diddley swagger and R & B swing can save it. His vocals don’t help either—his talk-singing, which I suspect is supposed to sound sly and campy, comes off bland and flat. Still, he’s worth seeing just for his guitar playing—and onstage it’s likely to be front and center where it belongs. —Peter Margasak

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