Waking from a nap in the swamps of outer space, Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds ride a geisterbahn into the hypnagogic, a place between sleep and consciousness also known as the “Haunted Head”. “Haunted Head” is the third LP Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds has oozed out for In The Red Records. Legendary guitar stylist Kid Congo Powers (The Gun Club, The Cramps, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds) and long time cohorts, bassist Kiki Solis (Knife In The Water), drummer Ron Miller (Up The Academy), and guitarist Jesse Roberts (Sandrider, The Ruby Doe) take matters into their own mitts by having Jesse engineer and Ron mix the record at the now well-known Harveyville Project High School in Kansas. “Haunted Head” reflects the band at its purest distillation. The Pink Monkey Birds create a cocktail of fuzz guitars, New Orleans drum beats, soulful strut bass lines, and sonic ambrosia from beyond. The trip of your dreams includes the “cheap and tawdry” in a tribute to dearly departed actress Susan Tyrell (“Su Su”), the morphing of Jerry Lee Lewis with Phyllis Diller (“Killer Diller”) and the plain ol’ insanity of romantic love (“Dance Me Swamply”). The band will also tell you how they LIKE “the mondos and the cholos and the weirdos and he freaks” on the rollicking track “Let’s Go!” and how they DON’T LIKE “neocons in square back suits” and “throwing up in a dirty phone booth “ on the punky proclamation “I Don’t Like”. I mean, who does? In the title ballad “Haunted Head”, Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds ask the listener “What’s inside your Haunted Head? Are you alive or are you dead? Are you kissing and a huggin? Are you pushin’ and a shoving? “. Perhaps only in dreams could you answer such a question.
I said the best live band in the world, and I ain’t the only one. No Depression and Spin Magazine have said the same. This is a band that’s held its own onstage with everybody from Johnny Cash to the Dresden Dolls. But you listen to the recording of “That Fierce Cow is Common Sense in a Country Dress,” and it’ll take you just about four minutes before you realize you’re listening to the best band in the world, period. It’s Lord Dwight Pentacost leading the lunatic rapture on his Jesus and Mary double-necked guitar; Rebecca Vera playing pedal steel so sublimely that I swear to God you can see the ghost of Ralph Mooney circling the stage; and, holding down the rhythm section like they have with each other since seventh grade, The Peeler on drums and Danny Pants on the doghouse bass, driving the band, making you lose your damn mind.