An outfit spearheaded by the fashion designer, author and musician Keanan Duffty and the Italian guitarist, songwriter and producer Fabio Fabbri, King Boy Vandals sees the pair taking help from current and former members of Visage, Magazine, Guns N’ Roses, David Bowie and Simply Red for this often sturdy listen that takes influence from punk and alt-rock.
“Prima Donna” starts the listen with a thick and buzzing display of gritty yet melodic alt-rock that somehow sounds indebted to the ‘90s while also being modern, and “Fear No Evil” follows with a some prog-rock ideas entering the thumping and groove friendly climate that was actually a demo Duffty wrote for Velvet Revolver.
Further along, “Falling Down” is a quieter offering of post-punk like dreaminess amid angular guitar work and a very crisp rhythm section that features Tony Bowers on bass, while “Euphoria” takes a bigger step in prog territory alongside some ‘80s appeal and David Torn’s guitar prowess. “English Country Garden” then certainly points towards the band’s British influences, where Richard Fortus’ hard rock tendencies add much to the energetic landscape.
Deeper yet, “Rocking Into An Explosion” swirls with both grit and tunefulness, as soaring vocals and spirited guitars complement the spacey ideas, and “The Beauty In You” exits the listen with a warm acoustic tune, where a poetic delivery and cozy strumming alongside gentle piano and stirring strings make just as much an impact as the louder tracks.
An album that was primarily recorded live, Duffty and Fabbri certainly know how to navigate a muscular rock tune you won’t soon forget, and the many players and vast influences makes for a listening experience that will be enjoyed by those with interests as wide as David Bowie, The Psychedelic Furs or even Buzzcocks.
Travels well with: The Psychedelic Furs- Made Of Rain; The Milwaukees- The Calling
Slinky Vagabond – King Boy Vandals: Album Review
A genuine genre tester of a set from Slinky Vagabond and friends.
Release Date: 6th December 2021
Format: Digital / CD
“Too young to live and much too fast to die,” sing the pair of Slinky Vagabonds, Keanan Duffty and Fabio Fabbri (ably assisted by Midge Ure) on Prima Donna, the strident opening cut on King Boy Vandals.
It’s a bold philosophy from the Glam-Art Rockers who’ve found that the lockdown proved “a good time to rope in some of our buddies who might have some time on their hands.” Keanan must have quite some little black book with the likes of EarlSlick, Clem Burke and Glen Matlock in early incarnations of the band and a lifetime of collaborations in different forms whose names are etched deep in the annals of music history.
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In 2003 he dressed the re-formed Sex Pistols and four years later worked with David Bowie on a clothing line for the US retailer Target. He was also stylist for the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s tribute to Bowie in 2016.
The synergy between fashion and music has long interested Duffty – going all the way back to Sordid Details, the punk band that he formed in South Yorkshire in 1978, when he was just 14. “We rehearsed in my dad’s garage and made a real racket, and did a few shows, the school gymnasium and the village hall,” he recalls. “It was a lot of fun. We also made our own T-shirts.”
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