King Khan & The Shrines: Idle No More (Merge) album review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Issue #47 - September/October 2013 - MGMTKing Khan & the Shrines

Idle No More


Sep 12, 2013 Issue #47 - September/October 2013 - MGMT Bookmark and Share

Anyone playing music inspired by ‘60s garage rock these days is aspiring to chin-up on what is nearly an impossibly high creative bar. King Khan & The Shrines take their cue from that work, but they know better than to drain their recording budget trying to achieve precisely the sound created decades ago by bands that had far less time and money.

Rather than seeking glory in a needle-in-the-red monophonic din, Khan and his band use a period template as a jumping-off point for songs that might serve as the soundtrack of 2013’s party people. And as Rocket from the Crypt did for years, The Shrines make the case that, in the right hands, horns have a place in rock & roll.

If Idle No More doesn’t necessarily sound like the product of manic intensity and dripping sweat, there’s no questioning the spirit at the heart of this solid, memorable set. Kick-starting the album with an appropriate flourish, “Born to Die” settles into a psych-rock groove that builds until the horns take over for the ride-out. “Bite My Tongue” is an upbeat crowd-charger, one of a few guaranteed to shake audiences out of their chairs.

That all points to the challenge a band like this will always have: generating their concert heat for the studio mics. But Idle No More presents a new challenge: will the sweet-hot charms offered in “Better Luck Next Time” or the soul-band breakdown of “Darkness” translate to the stage? The Ouija board says yes. (

Author rating: 6/10

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