The King Bucks

Most people agree that The King Bucks are a great live act. Their newest record, the brilliantly named Bar-B-Que Drugs, certainly solidifies that claim.

The album is a diverse mix of songs — some that sound great on record, most that would probably go over better in a honky-tonk — that get progressively sillier from beginning to end, all while tapping into each band member's personality. Keith Killoren's sincere alt-country number "Rosemary" is offset by his "Undertaker," a hilariously psychotic song about a human-skin-wearing serial killer, sung by Joe Butcher. The morbid humor is continued by keyboardist Chad Stockslager, whose "Biscuits" tells the murder-suicide cautionary tale of a mother and son who were also lovers: "Don't sleep with your mothers," he warns as the song dies down. Danny Balis, meanwhile, channels Gram Parsons on "Gentle Lovin' Man" and "Forever Blue," two songs cut from the same studio tape as The Byrds' Sweetheart of the Rodeo.

A wide variety of styles and personalities are represented on Bar-B-Que Drugs. While the album lacks a certain amount of cohesion, you get the feeling it will all make sense at the show.

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