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Album review: Boots Electric's 'Honkey Kong'

January 2, 2012 |  2:12 pm

Boots-review

Beck fans longing for another album in the vein of that veteran shape-shifter's fin-de-siècle funk odyssey "Midnite Vultures" might've found satisfaction a few months ago in an unlikely source: a solo disc (released Sept. 20) by Jesse Hughes of Palm Desert's hard-rocking Eagles of Death Metal. Issued under the typically cheeky pseudonym Boots Electric, "Honkey Kong" channels the risqué humor and go-go energy of Beck's record; it has the same willfully synthetic gleam too, thanks in part to producer Tony Hoffer, who also worked on "Midnite Vultures."

Hughes lays out his approach right away, singing over a chunky electro-bass groove in opener "Complexity": "I try to make it easy, never stop the flow / Just keep it sweet and simple, let a little skin show." And so he does: Even as the textures (and the sentiments) thicken in tunes such as "No Fun" and the doo-wop-styled "Dreams Tonight" -- the latter with guitar by Josh Homme, Hughes' partner in Eagles of Death Metal -- "Honkey Kong" retains an essential lightness that keeps the music on the right side of parody. It's having fun the way Beck used to, back before he'd ever have considered making a record called "Modern Guilt."

Boots Electric
"Honkey Kong"
(Dangerbird)
Three stars (out of four)

ALSO:

Album review: Teebs' 'Collections 01'

Album review: 'Young Adult: Music From the Motion Picture'

Album review: 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' soundtrack

-- Mikael Wood

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