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REVIEW: KING CURLY - THE FALL & RISE OF KING CURLY
The Fall & Rise of King Curly

King Curly
The Fall & Rise of King Curly

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Night Parrots

King Curly
Night Parrots

Doomsday Piano

King Curly
Doomsday Piano

Familyman

King Curly
Familyman

Lullaby

King Curly
Lullaby

Bluesbunny.com, 2008

King Curly is essentially a vehicle for Australian Steve Appel and this album is a collection of odds and ends covering a decade of a decidedly idiosyncratic career. The track selection was apparently decided upon after canvassing fans and encompasses a wide variety of styles. With musical backing ranging from fairly straightforward rock band instrumentation to utilising toy pianos, home made instruments and a vaudevillian swagger there are twists and turns throughout it. Despite this, what shines through is the quality and uniqueness of Appel's vision.

Opening with "Falling Downstairs," a ballad reminiscent of The Blue Nile or even Mercury Rev, the album touches base throughout with intelligent and well crafted songs but even then the black humour and left field lyrics are present. "Daydream" is a very pleasant, piano driven pop song with yearning vocals by Appel and ethereal female backing. However the lyrics seem to point to the daydreaming as a condition requiring psychotherapy. Similarly "Porpoise Club" has a hypnotic pulse in a song that has a nagging similarity to Sting at his best but would Sting write lyrics such as "you seem like the kind of girl who would put out for a boy like me?"

Then there is a less pop driven sensibility here which gives the album its Jekyll and Hyde personality. A ukulele piece inspired by Tiny Tim (The Bumblebee Has No Home) and a spooky, stalkerish croon to a "Girl in The store" stand out.  "Let's Have An Orgy (Viagra Mix)" is a funky (and sexy) vamp with orgasmic female backing vocals and dirty guitar and horn parts and a thrusting bass rhythm. In the excellent sleeve notes Appel writes, "when King Curly plays Orgy live audiences usually respond by looking confused. An actual orgy has never eventuated (as far as I know) though I did notice someone taking off their jumper once."

With detailed notes for all of the selections within a nicely packaged CD I can thoroughly recommend this album. Time to hunt out their masterpiece, "Doomsday Piano."


Tony McMahon, NPress Magazine 2008

The Fall & Rise Of King Curly is a magnificent [Best Of] album including rarities, oddities as well as some new material from the criminally underrated Blue Mountains based band - King Curly. In the album's brilliantly entertaining liner notes frontman Steve Appel says " King Curly was born of the desire to right wrongs and punish evil. In that respect, his spirtual forefathers are Robin Hood, Batman, Moses and all the rest of that head kicking crew".


Michael Dwyer, The Age 2008

It wouldn't be right if King Curly was the household name he deserves to be. Blue Mountains minstrel is a true Pop outsider. His harmonious medicine-show band and heartbreaking orchestrations frame a profound, self-deprecating comedy about transcendence and the people who dream of it. This retrospective is a rich world of intrigue populated by daydreamers, from the intimate I Wish I Was A Girl and Familyman, to filmic King Curly and Curly & Sue.