Ethan Buckler once played bass for Slint, a Kentucky outfit whose ultra-serious approach to modern rock was rightly beloved by critics. Apparently all those good notices became a drag, though, because shortly after appearing on 1989's Steve Albini-produced Tweez, he split to form King Kong, a group whose brand of deadpan dance music quickly attracted reviewers' barbs. Nevertheless, Buckler has devoted the better part of two decades to his defiantly idiosyncratic vision, and Buncha Beans, released in March on Drag City, offers a typical serving of strangeness. Take the environmentally themed "Bulldozers," which is built upon witty keyboard grooves and Buckler's whimsically monotonal delivery of lyrics such as "My father and my mother/My sister and my brother/We follow one another/We're a herd of caribou." The results are apt to leave aesthetes cold. Still, folks with a taste for the absurd will likely consider King Kong the rare sequel that's more fun than the original.
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