King Khan And The Shrines: 'Freak' Show

Monday's Pick

  • Song: "Land of the Freak"
  • Artist: King Khan and the Shrines
  • CD: What Is?!
  • Genre: Rock
King Khan and the Shrines 300

In "Land of the Freak," King Khan and the Shrines perform with a sweaty, wild-eyed intensity. courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption courtesy of the artist

Garage-rock eccentric King Khan may be from Montreal, but his heart is almost a thousand miles away, throbbing from Atlanta to Castle City, Mont., until it hits cardiac arrest in Kalamazoo. Khan and His Shrines warn that this so-called "Land of the Freak" is where only the strong survive, but it's a strength that can't be measured in muscle. It's sweaty, wild-eyed intensity that only those with soul can withstand. The sounds of James Brown, Little Richard and Sun Ra do have an authentic influence on Khan and his band, but there's a modern energy, too. Some purists might say Khan's brand of soul could use a punk-rock exorcism.

A three-minute mutant call to arms, "Land of the Freak" comes from the album What Is?!, which saw its U.S. debut this year. Its rugged music with an infectious attitude, but sounds only make up one half of Khan's band. With matching costumes, choreographed stage moves and a go-go dancer, the neo-soul 10-piece revels in rock's visual power. King Khan and the Shrines may look and sound bizarre, but don't feel left out; it's not an exclusive club. If it looks like there's room in the Cadillac, then jump in.

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What Is?!

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Album
What Is?!
Artist
King Khan & the Shrines
Label
Vice
Released
2007

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