way-twisted pop

King Missile (Atlantic)
King Missile

By Kory Wilcoxson

Normal is not in John S. Hall's dictionary. His mind is warped like a rotted board and as twisted as a French braid. And he knows how to use it.

Hall fronts the quirky King Missile, a band that takes a pure pop foundation and adds some mighty strange -- and poetic -- lyrics and spoken words, courtesy of Hall.

You might remember King Missile from their flash in the pan hit "Detachable Penis" about a year ago from their album "Happy Hour." That disc was a perfect mix of sensible pop and nonsensical lyrics, and was a shining moment for the group.

On this eponymously titled album, things drop just a notch. No song, um, comes off as well as "Detachable Penis," leaving a boiling stew of Hall's cranial regurgitations for the listener to sift through.

There are some nuggets here. "Let's Have Sex" and "Bloodletting" are Hall unchained, weaving some far-out thoughts over Dave Rick's chatty guitar. The topper is "The Commercial Song" where Hall's turns an Irish Spring ad into a bloody mutilation while making it all sound like a ride at Disneyworld.

Not all the songs live up to this standard, and at times Hall's babbling wears thin. But I'll guarantee you this: you'll never, ever be bored.