King Khan & the Shrines

The Supreme Genius of King Khan & the Shrines (Vice)

It's a good thing that King Khan & the Shrines were still toiling in obscurity when the faux garage "The" bands thing (The White Stripes, The Strokes, The Hives, et al.) "saved" rock 'n' roll in 2002. At that juncture, Khan and Co. would've probably missed their share of attention in favor of other, more nattily dressed acts. Supreme Genius is a compilation of tracks nicked from various European releases and a great introduction to the madness that is Khan. What we have here is a party record—howling, sweaty R&B screamers, filtered through the lens of punk and delivered by a wise-ass whose primary intent is to entertain and get funky. James Brown is the most obvious antecedent, but the band's sheer aggression and roughshod playing (they're the quintessential "tight but loose" combo) is obviously punk, if punk means rebellious and sexy rock 'n' roll delivered with abundant recklessness. I bet these guys tear it up live.