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Album Reviews : King Parrot – Ulgy Produce

By on October 29, 2017

If the best things about King Parrot are their furiously energetic live shows and often hilarious videos it would be grossly unfair to expect their studio results to be as fun. However, by no means does that render their albums unworthy of a listen. There’s still more blood, sweat and grind than you’re likely to find elsewhere.

King Parrot’s 2012 debut, Bite Your Head Off, wasn’t perfect but almost managed to do as the title threatened. It brought buckets of personality to raw, ultra-aggressive punk-tinged death/grind and it was fabulous. But how many ears turned to that record because they loved the “Shit on the Liver” video?

Dead Set, in 2015, wasn’t a giant progression but it did include a bit of variety in Matt Young’s vocals in the form of occasional death growls, along with songs that some might call more mature while pessimists might label less fun. Regardless of the slight deviations from the original formula, the set again gave KP a bunch of fresh material as they continued touring relentlessly. Taking their light-hearted grind circus on the road has surely earned a handful of albums sales along the way.

It’s 2017 now and we have another King Parrot record; Ugly Produce. We know by now that we’re not to expect a sweeping opus of epic subtlely. Anybody even thinking about checking out a new KP record didn’t come in search of anything but a good time and a proverbial punch in the gob. The good news is that the band’s third full-length is again the perfect soundtrack to a back alley piss. It’s honest, raw and holds brutality in spades, but it’s not quite a carbon-copy of their first two albums.

It almost seems like an odd thing to suggest that a King Parrot album feels like it was meant to be enjoyed as a whole, but there are elements of Ugly Produce which relate one song to the next more than has been the case previously. Beginning with opener, “Entrapment”, the band introduces the habit of an all-in shouted refrain of the song’s title. While there are moments where it doesn’t quite have the impact it’s aiming for (an otherwise fantastic “Piss Wreck”), it does provide a familiar yet unique theme and feel to the album as a collective.

“Disgrace Yourself” and “All Hail the Grub” precede the album’s highlight, “Ten Pounds of Shit in a Five Pound Bag”. It’s this track which provides an example of one of Ugly Produce’s major positives; the drumming of Todd Hansen. His work exemplifies the lovable aspects of King Parrot as he goes about murdering his kit in a fashion evoking the feeling that the confidently measured surface control is about to be lost at any moment.

Another major tick in favour of Ugly Produce is Matt Young’s unmistakable screech and squawk. Apart from the various personalities within the band which shine onstage or in videos, it’s Young who has quite literally given KP their unique voice and led the constant spew of attitude the band delivers. This album sees the vocals, not buried, but slide ever so slightly into the mix so as to allow Young’s aggression to aid the songs without overpowering them, as it has threatened to do in the past.

What that all means is you have a more even and focused sound. If the second half of the album isn’t quite as strong as the first, then perhaps it does provide an example of that focus. “Scattered”, “Numb Skull” and the black metal influenced “Now It Stokes Frenzy” are solid tunes that won’t change your life but again allow listeners to appreciate the positive aspects the band have brought to the table this time around.

“Die Before You Die” is a late highlight of sorts before closer, and the album’s longest track, “Spookin’ the Animals”, round out the shouted refrains and all-‘round mayhem. All but two of the tracks on Ugly Produce are done in under three minutes and a couple under two, which means there’s very little time to get bored but just enough time to exercise your demons in feel-good fashion.

Ugly Produce is beer-drinking music. It’s an aggressive gym soundtrack. It’s ten new songs that King Parrot can take to the stage. If you’ve never seen the band play live and you’re going about your happy life in the belief that you’re on the road to fulfilment, I can most certainly assure you that you are mistaken. It’s the stage where King Parrot takes flight it’s the stage where these tracks will be truly experienced and appreciated, as Youngy, Slatts and co. tear the place apart. In the meantime, however, you could do a lot worse than adding Ugly Produce to your Spotify or whatever.

Band: King Parrot
Album: Ugly Produce
Year: 2017
Genre: Grindcore
Label:  EVP Recordings / Nerve Gas
Origin: Australia