Cult bandleader King Khan is exactly the kind of abject weirdo we love around these parts. When he last appeared in Miami, as part of a kick-off show the night before the Bruise Cruise, he showed up in fine form: bare-chested save for a shell necklace, rocking a feathered headdress.
No real reason why — the look had nothing to do with the cruise-y theme of the show, nor to do with the music he then performed with his band the Shrines. That live set was akin to a hair-raising tent revival, with Khan himself and particularly the Shrines’ ear-blasting brass section reviving all the ghosts of Stax legends past.
The band recently announced a quick series of tour dates for the summer, with a tiny handful in the United States and a couple at festivals in the U.K. No, Miami’s nowhere on that list, but we remain pretty confident they’ll come back, thanks to Khan’s almost telekinetic-seeming connection with our Jacuzzi Boys.
In the meantime, we can enjoy this new track, “Bite My Tongue.” The group’s been playing it live for almost two years, but the new studio version cleans it up — slightly. This is a mid-tempo number, almost poppy, just about the closest the band has come to creating something radio-friendly — if radio had any room for baritone sax. (It’s already in heavy rotation on satellite’s XMU, though.) Still present are all of the best things about the shrines — horn stabs, loose bass, and swinging drums.
It’s enough, almost, to tide us over until the next King Khan stop in South Florida. And if that doesn’t happen any time soon, well, “Bite My Tongue” is a teaser off the band’s upcoming full-length, due out this year.