King Missile III – Royal Lunch – Review

King Missile III

Royal Lunch (Important)
by Jamie Kiffel

Is it a good idea to start a record with the lines “You know what’s really boring? This”? The first track of King Missile‘s new album sets the tone, quite literally, for the whole album, opening with a solid and futile “om” (it goes on and on but doesn’t take the meditator anywhere).

Ironically, one gets the feeling from the sincere save-the-planet mentality of Royal Lunch, not to mention lines about being vegan and eating tofu, that Mr. John S. Hall is pro-enlightenment. But this album is all about having had enough of gentle byroads to peace, giving up on the yogic, ultra-optimistic way, and very bluntly shouting what it thinks about the Bush administration and the ruin of American politics. Unfortunately, that’s just about all it shouts about. Tracks such as the sardonic, spoken word “America Kicks Ass” (“We want cheap clothes, cheap oil, whatever we want. And if they don’t like it, they can suck on it. Because the rest of the world is America’s bitch”) allude to old punk, but never get quite as interesting. Too many tracks ramble in aimless, “Aren’t I cute and pissed?” pseudo-poetry with cuckoo noises and blips and squiggly noise acting as accompaniment.

Hall does explain himself in the track “Another Political Poem.” “Man,” he says, “I’m sorry. This is nice music and I didn’t want to spoil it with another political tirade, because I don’t even like political poetry, because most of it sucks, and most of the political stuff that comes to me is even worse than the shit that usually comes to me, but… I hate this president even more than I did before 9/11.” That said, it’s difficult not to be just a little bit admiring of someone who puts out an album that almost definitely will not sell to anyone but perhaps some Greenpeace activists, simply because Hall felt compelled by disillusionment and vitriol.

Perhaps the most distressing part is knowing that this record was made before the election, with full expectation that there would still be cause to listen to it afterward. Hall clearly expected that Bush was going to win again. Music aside, isn’t that enough reason to merit a rant twice this one’s size?