Surrender To The Blender

King Prawn

Spitfire Records, 2000

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


At first glance, one would think that King Prawn is a band who is out for the cheap laugh. The cover of their latest disc Surrender To The Blender suggests that this disc is one to slap on to keep the party going.

Yet the band has much more substance than you'd expect from first glance. A mixture of ska and metal, King Prawn takes the lessons learned from the ska revival in the early '80s and whips them into a frenzy for 2000. The end result is a pretty enjoyable album.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Sure, there is a lighter side to the band and their music, proof that they studied groups like Madness and Bad Manners. But there is more than a touch of serious social overtones to their music, putting them up there with groups like The Selecter. Put that all together, and the band - vocalist Al Rumjen, guitarist Devil Hands, bassist/vocalist Babar Luck and drummer Slugboy (I don't make up the stage names, kids, I just re-type 'em) - and you've got a band who want to be remembered for more than just their music.

In the end, King Prawn will probably be remembered for both, though it is occasionally hard to decipher Rumjen's machine-gun vocal style. Tracks like "No Peace," "Be Warned," "American Funded Genocide" and "Crackhead" challenge the listener to think about the band's lyrics, not just to idly sit by and take in the album. Of course, a healthy balance is provided in the music, from the instrumental joy of "Espiritu Du Carnival" to the full-throttle attack of "The Postman Song" and one unlisted track. Combined, these two songs clock in at just around a minute, but they provide relief at the right junctures of the album.

The only real negative anyone could lay on Surrender To The Blender is that it's not the kind of album you'll immediately understand. Sure, you can get so much enjoyment from this disc on just one listen, but the real meat behind the musical potatoes only shows itself after you've spent some time with this disc. In this instant gratification world, many people might not be willing to make that kind of a time investment... but if you do, it will prove to be well worth it.

Surrender To The Blender is the kind of disc that should make listeners sit up and take notice of King Prawn. It may not be the key to unlock another ska revival... but revolution comes one note at a time.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2000 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Spitfire Records, and is used for informational purposes only.