King Missile III - Royal Lunch - CD
What is left to say that John S. Hall and King Missile haven't already said? Everything!
The notoriously outspoken and eloquently sardonic John S. Hall is back with the third incarnation of King Missile and this time his unrelenting lyrical avant-poetry/spoken-wordism is angry, irreverently subversive and politically charged. Though not the only topic on the album, Hall has taken aim at the Bush administration and Royal Lunch is a direct shot at the heart of the monster.
Royal Lunch has the feel of an America on the brink of disaster, the exact climate the album was written in, and as always, John S. Hall channels the socio-political climate of the globe, mixing in his slanted wit, creating a brilliantly acrimonious masterwork.Though politics could be called Royal Lunch's main obsession, other topics are dutifully discussed by post-beat NYC poet/lead singer John S. Hall.
Topics such as the soothing bore of meditation, the sadness and terror of "joy," god, women, avocados, cake, kittens, babies, anti-matter and water beds full of Callista Flockhart's urine are all discussed with equal passion, eloquence and wit. Royal Lunch is as overtly political as it is slanted, sarcastic, sardonic and belligerent. All the elements of classic King Missile.Unlike many bands, King Missile's socio-political rants, their evolving lineup and John S. Hall's dry, witty literate lyrics have kept them modern and from fading into obscurity. Both lyrically and musically relevant, King Missile hasn't necessarily fallen behind or kept ahead, instead they've built their own house and Royal Lunch may be the finest addition yet. Royal Lunch's musical arrangement is as fascinating as John S. Hall's post-beat lyrical approach is engaging.
On Royal Lunch, Sasha Forte, King Missile's multi-instrumentalist, takes up bass, violin, guitar and keyboards while the eccentric percussionist Bradord Reed plays a drum set paired with The Amazing Pencillina, a percussive stringed instrument of his own design. Guest musicians include King Missile regulars Jane Scarpantoni on cello, who has played with Lou Reed, David Byrne, Norah Jones and Blonde Redhead, and Jack Spratt on guitar. Call this protest rock. Call it spoken word. Call it well harnessed insanity. Call it sardonic for sure. Call it whatever you want, just don't forget to call it King Missile III.
"I am a sensitive artist. Nobody understands me because I am so deep. In my work, I make allusions to books that nobody else has read, music that nobody else has heard, and art that nobody else has seen. I can't help it because I am so much more intelligent and well-rounded than everyone who surrounds me." ~ John S. Hall
1. Meditation Is Boring
2. America Kicks Ass
3. Suggested Response To the Coming Crisis
4. So Happy
5. The Chosen
6. Pain Series VII: Splinter
7. Another Political Poem
8. Get Down With the Funky Shit
9. Get Into It
10. Good Things
11. Brains Will Explode
12. Royal Lunch
14. Pain Series VIII: Stubbed Toe
16. The God
"The new album by King Missile III - which includes Lounge Lizard cellist Jane Scarpantoni, bassist/violinist Sasha Forte, percussionist Bradford Reed, and cellist/guitarist Charles Curtis - finds Hall ruminating in his sarcastic deadpan. " ~ San Francisco Weekly
"John S. Hall's cruel honesty towards himself and those surrounding him give others a keen insight into both the writer and the general population of our hopeless America. " ~ Levity
"This is the sort of top-40 music that would emerge in a culture that deified Hunter S. Thompson. It's the funniest disk I own, save for maybe my Holy Modal Rounders stuff; it's warped psychedelia, joyfully infantile, deranged stuff, never afraid to laugh at itself, or cry hysterically, or freak out and hide in the closet all night until the faces on the walls go away. It's also strikingly intelligent, with a very sharp edge for satire, effortlessly incorporating 60's conventions and soooo much more into it's mix. Fun at parties, if your friends have personality disorders or are just... uhm... being "experienced." ~ Amazon.com
"John S Hall ruminates on the oddest topics. This is a comedian-philosopher talking over musical weirdness. " ~ The Atlantic
"Underappreciated and understated metaphysical comedy music comes in strange forms. King Missile is one of them." ~ Trouser Press
"Witty and hilarious." ~ All Music Guide
"King Missile are rather good." ~ Pete Ashton's blog, 2001 (no idea who Pete Ashton is but he's right on with this one!)
"Lead singer of King Missile, John S. Hall has pricked our ears over the radio with the anti-patriarchcal rant narratives 'Detachable Penis,' 'Take Stuff From Work,' and 'Jesus Was Way Cool.' As an original standard-maker of spoken work, John S. Hall helped create a vibrant alternative to the mumblings of corporate alternative rock." ~ Soft Skull Press
"Hall is completely word-dependent - when his imagination flags second half, so does the album. But it isn't just the consistency of the sarcasm that distinguishes this one. It's the way he's putting his hard-rock comedy, shaggy dog fables, and sophistical shit across. Rarely has a performance artist made a more forceful adjustment to guitar-bass-and-drums, or a college-radio band a tuffer adjustment to clean-yet-heavy." ~ Robert Christgau
"Also of interest is the new band, which incorporates Bradford Reed and his Pencilina - an instrument of Reed's creation which sounds (and looks) unlike everything else. As a percussionist, Reed brings in something wholly different to the ole' King Missile.'" ~ Anton Wagner, Ink 19