Exposé Online banner

Kiss Kiss King Kong — Too High to Say Hello
(Apollon Records AP010, 2015, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2018-09-25

Too High to Say Hello Cover art

With a title like Too High to Say Hello, what do you expect? Some kind of stoner simplicity? Trippy psychedelic weirdness? In the case of Kiss Kiss King Kong, it’s neither, though maybe bits of both show up. It’s more a (more or less) clever pun without any real meaning. Certainly the band is inclined towards humor in their titles — they have tracks called “668: Neighbour of the Beast (Pt. II)” and “Bordell California” — and there is a certain lightness to the music, even when they rock hard. This Bergen band (yes, another band from Bergen) released this album in 2015, but it seems to have been somewhat overlooked at the time, so Apollon is giving it another push. I, for one, am glad they did. This is a really enjoyable album with a style that blends several elements together in a distinctive way. One aspect is a kind of Hawkwind-like space rock, with head-bobbing riffs, trippy effects, and some freakout improv moments. Another aspect approaches Motorpsycho’s sophisticated psych-rock, including some acoustic touches. There’s also “Rock All Night,” a kind of homage to 70s rockers like Thin Lizzy and Sweet, which is done well enough to rise above simple tribute (or parody) and is a good tune in spite of the “big dumb rock” trappings. “Bordell California” is the album’s centerpiece, a 13-plus minute journey crafted masterfully to build up from a subtle but energetic bass riff with floating guitar and keyboard parts up to a big riff, then through variations in timing and texture, allowing solo spots for organ and guitar. But none of the solos are over-indulgent or tiresome, and the playing all around is solid and well-conceived. So take a step back from the slew of new releases and check out this gem from a few years back. If you like Motorpsycho’s take on music, you’ll probably enjoy this as well.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Kiss Kiss King Kong

Latest news

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Steve Roach - Live at Grace Cathedral – This two disc set documents one of Roach’s rare live performances, this one at San Francisco's historic Grace Cathedral on June 29, 2007. The natural reverb of the performance space meshes well with...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues