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King Khan & the Shrines

Idle No More (Merge)

Reviewed by Thomas Fawcett, Fri., Nov. 8, 2013

King Khan & the Shrines

King Khan & the Shrines

Idle No More (Merge)

Five years have passed since the apt and boldly named The Supreme Genius of King Khan & the Shrines was unleashed on unsuspecting stateside ears. The compilation of breakneck R&B and gut-bucket garage rock – culled from previous European releases – came from the warped mind of Berlin's King Khan, a punk rock soul shaman born in Canada to Indian émigrés. Equal parts Wilson Pickett, Roky Erickson, and Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Khan's the consummate showman and that manic energy exists here, though only in spots. With Khan reeling from the recent loss of three close friends and a self-described mental breakdown, Idle No More, titled for an indigenous rights movement, is both darker and more refined than any Shrines release to date. He explores his demons on "Darkness" and pays tribute to fallen friend Jay Reatard on "So Wild." It's still a party, just one where you stay sober enough to remember a few details. (Sunday, 8:55pm, Black stage)

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