Hypothesis: King Parrot is on the verge of becoming a critic-proof band.
What’s a critic-proof band, you may ask? Well, I’m glad you asked.
I didn’t invent the term, and I don’t remember if I read it in a review of a Cannibal Corpse or Goatwhore album, but either would be a prime example of a critic-proof band. I’d probably put Motörhead in that same category, too. Critic-proof bands are the ones who are both good enough and have a dedicated enough fan base to be able to keep releasing variations of what’s essentially same album. Sure, there are subtle differences from one Cannibal Corpse record to the next that the true die-hards will pick up on, but their overall sound has been so consistent that you pretty much know what you’re getting every time they release something new. And if you’re a fan, you’ll probably like it. And if you’re not, it likely won’t convert you to the cause.
Ugly Produce may only be the third full-length from the Aussie thrash-grinders, and their entire recorded output may only take slightly longer to listen to than the forthcoming Bell Witch record, but they already seem to be well on their way to critic-proof status. Ugly Produce might be a little more on the grind end of the spectrum than Dead Set, which leaned a bit more towards thrash, but on the whole it finds the quintet leaning even further into what’s become their trademark sound: fast, riffy, a little offensive, and whole lot of fun. It’s also topped off with Youngy’s high-pitched half-yelp/half-screech. Seriously, dude sounds like no other metal vocalist I’ve ever heard – it’s fucking glorious, almost like a young Geddy Lee trying to growled vocals.
Also: on their Metal Archives page it says one of their lyrical themes is “shit.” If that doesn’t immediately send you running to YouTube to look up their videos for the Bite Your Head Off banger ‘Shit on the Liver” or new single “Ten Pounds of Shit in a Five Pound Bag,” I don’t think we can be friends. But I digress…
Given that the record’s ten tracks only run for about 27 minutes, it seems reductive to try to go through and spotlight a few tracks. Just jam the whole fucking thing, and then jam it a second time because it kicks that much ass. If you’re the sort who likes to sample a track or two before taking the plunge, though, “Ten Pounds of Shit in a Five Pound Bag” is several flavors of ferocious, and the video is all kinds of insane. “Piss Wreck” is a short blast of drunken rage, and “Disgrace Yourself” rides a nifty crossover riff that would make Iron Reagan jealous. Honestly though, there’s not a bum track on the record.
If I wanted to be a total buzzkill, I could probably criticize the record for its lack of variety in terms of the songwriting, or the absence of tempo changes, but I feel like that would be missing the point of King Parrot. They’ll probably never top the Decibel year-end best-of list, or release an album that will be held up twenty years from now as a masterpiece of the style, but I doubt that’s even their intent. They seem much more like a “drink hard, play fast, start some shit” kind of band, and it’s difficult not to love them for it. And if you ever get the chance to see them, do it – they totally rip tits live.