May 23, 2022

King Garbage – ‘Heavy Metal Greasy Love’ – “Funky head-nods are the thing here, and a big smile”

IPECAC RECORDINGS             1 April 2022

This is the second album-sized outing for King Garbage. The band is the project of a pair of producers, Zach Cooper and Vic Dimotsis, who’ve produced all sort of acts; The Weeknd, SZA, Ellie Goulding, Gallant, Billy Porter, et al. It’s a deliberate attempt on American soul but rather than sounding like a manufactured reproduction, it is a messy (deliberately so), lively set of soul-pop-funk beats. Full of samples, sounds, drop-outs, deep beats; all assembled into complex creations. It combines clattery percussion with moody intros with semi-focused vocals with down and dirty groove. It isn’t a groove-fest, though funky feelings are important, it’s more an artful confection and an all-round good pop album. Maybe sample the new single Busy On A Saturday Night for the balancing act of elements, served just right with some elements (a sweet bow rub on a cello) lasting no more than a second or two.

Funky head-nods are the thing here, and a big smile as the sounds chop about, dropping in at the perfect moment to complement the melody. Straight after the single is Monster Truck and the assembly of high-pitched soul crooning, guitar, piano-rock and post-everything sounds is effective. A jazz horn might drop in for a moment, an organ elsewhere, some skittering strings pass by and, atop it, a laid-back impassioned yet lazy almost-whispered vocal. Or an extended echoey guitar solo. In one moment I am reminded of the inspired amateurism of Cody ChestnuTT, at another of the pop-construction skills of OutKast or occasionally of a relaxed Prince (was there ever such a thing?) lying in a hammock.

Vic says: “It’s a taste of retro without being a reproduction,” before explaining the album title, apposite for the post-Covid era, “Love and life are very sweet, bitter, and heavy. You’re going to need big tires and a dense frame to cross the desert life can give you.”