King Khan & The Shrines

King Khan's twisted rock 'n' roll ride has landed him in a damn fine place. From his stint in trash rockers Spaceshits to the dual lineup of King Khan & BBQ Show to his current leading-man role with The Shrines, there's been a helluva lot of howlin', struttin', and shirtless, stompin' showboating. Khan screams in a raspy yowl like he's trying to break up a fight or get in one, a bit of Little Richard exuded through the Shrines' big band horns into a mess of a good time.

And party time fits the act well. After all, Khan was originally a would-be protégé of Mike Mariconda of garage punk hepcats The Raunch Hands. Both the Hands and Khan present unrefined schlock, to be sure. But it's showmanship at its finest, going for the type of stage show Khan envisions at its most pure, born of the frantic early days of rock 'n' soul in the '50s and early '60s. Road-tested by a guy born to Indian parents and raised in Canada who launched his career and is now based in Berlin, this is also music fully at home in our own raucous time.

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Chris Toenes