Vincent Priceless — Hunky Panky
(Baby Werewolf BWCD2017, 2017, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2018-04-21
As a follow-up to Black Light Revival (2015), Vincent Priceless gives us Hunky Panky, another collection of catchy, clever tunes rooted in some of the best elements of 60s and 70s rock. Take a big swig of trippy sunshine psychedelia, chase it down with a shot of glam-rock, sprinkle in a dash of New Wave, stir vigorously, and garnish with a slice of punning humor. The result is a tasty cocktail that should bring a smile to your face without causing embarrassment. Tunes like “Dr Now,” “Bad Beth and Beyond,” and “Angels We Have Heard While High” remind you that rock ‘n’ roll is supposed to be fun. “Return of the Spiders from Mars” gives one clue where Priceless is coming from; “John Cale” gives another. There are so many smile-inducing lyrical moments I hardly know where to start. How about...
When you're down on the street be careful what you eat,
That chicken was a seagull caught today down by the bay.
A wise man said it best, "When billions want their meat,
Then tables will be the only thing with legs that they don't eat!"
...from “Between Today and Tomorrow”? I’m reminded of Scott McCaughey’s great songwriting with Young Fresh Fellows and The Minus 5 — Priceless has a similar knack for paying winking homage to the past while remaining both original and light-hearted. The specter of David Bowie hangs over much of Hunky Panky, from the title down into the lyrics, but there’s more to the album than just that, and it’s more celebratory than grief-stricken. Priceless is constitutionally incapable of keeping a straight face, and these solid tunes balance humor and musicianship to great effect. Priceless himself plays guitars, keyboards, bass, and drums at various times, but he’s joined by Tom Curiano (drums), Art Quinn (lead guitar, piano, vocals), Rock Anthony (drums), and Frank Pace (percussion) to fill out the sound. Check your serious musical attitude at the door and grin like a fool for a while — it’ll do you wonders.
Related artist(s): Vincent Priceless
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more