1/  Slump                                      (KCS)                         3.40
  2/  Triple Oceanic Experience                  (KCS)                         4.10
  3/  Maynard                                    (KCS)                         4.03
  4/  Italian Ufology Today                      (KCS)                         6.05
  5/  Gamblore/All Flights Go To Moscow          (KCS)                         5.43
  6/  The Pollinator                             (KCS)                         5.07
  7/  80% Knockout                               (KCS)                         9.23
  8/  Lunar Rotisserie                           (KCS)                         8.14
  9/  Mano Ponderosa                             (KCS)                         4.30
  10/ Technique                                  (KCS)                         8.21
  11/ Italian UFOlogy Today (Mad Professor remix)(KCS)                         4.38

          Recorded at Phase One, Toronto
          Engineered by Robert Musso
          Mixed at Greenpoint Studio, Brooklyn, New York
          Produced by Bill Laswell
          Mastered by Howie Weinberg at Masterdisk
          Remastered (2012) by Joao Carvallo
Mike Armstrong: percussion; Kevan Byrne: guitars, vocals; Gary Dutch: drums; Kevin Lynn: bass, etc; Al Okada: guitars, backing vocals, etc; Steve Clarkson: organ (4), drum program (11); DJ Supreme: scratching; Ian Blurton (10): guitar; Herbie Spannier (8): trumpet.

          1994 - Lunamoth (Canada), 7 7955 60001 22 (CD)
          2012 - Pheremone (Canada), PHER CD 1025 (CD)
Note: Bill Laswell does not play on this album.
Note: Track 11 appears only on the 2012 re-issue.


King Cobb Steelie must have friends in pretty prominent places, because somehow the band's "everything-including-the-kitchen-sink" approach managed to attract the attention of none other then Bill Laswell, who agreed to produce the follow-up. As you'd expect, the album shows the band leaning less toward jagged punk stylings and more toward sinewy, atmospheric dub. Sometimes the vocals disappear completely while the band lays into a groove, but this is not altogether a bad thing. Although "Triple Oceanic Experience" was nearly a hit single, the album's centerpiece is the nine-and-a-half-minute "80% Knockout," which brings together all of the band's influences in a beautifully sparse package.

4 1/2 stars out of 5

Sean Carruthers (courtesy of the All Music Guide website)


King Cobb Steelie's first offerings, the gritty indie seven-inch One's a Heifer / Duotang (1991) and their surly self-titled LP two years later, were full of seething indie-rock, drawing obvious comparisons to the likes of Fugazi. But the tight-ass vitriolic of those early releases, though voguish at the time, may have been more the result of horseshoes up their backsides than anything else - as luck would have it, all-star knob-twiddler Bill Laswell caught wind of them and offered to produce their sophomore record.

The Guelph (Ontario) lads found a natural ally in Laswell on 1994's Project Twinkle, with their twitchy, jagged punk/funk now sitting alongside longer cuts of sinewy dub and jazz. Laswell's fingerprints are all over this, from opener 'Slump''s urgent rhythms to the loping Jah Wobble dub of cryptically titled 'Italian Ufology Today'. Guitar/bass duo Kevan Byrne and Kevin Lynn captain a tight ship here, as on the excellent 'Mano Ponderosa', flitting and careening off each other's riffs. And rather than cliched indie-rock rage, Project Twinkle scratches below the surface of those adolescent tantrums, digging up a more grown-up anguish, as on 'Slump' ("Resolve against myself, resist against myself, you could find yourself if I could find myself"). Taut, scrappy and angst-ridden, this will fit nicely in your collection somewhere between Moonshake and African Headcharge.

On later efforts, like 1997's Junior Relaxer and 2000's Mayday, the band flirted with electronic beats while courted by major labels WEA and Ryko, but their high-water mark would remain this uncompromising funk-up of a disc.

Michael Panontin (courtesy of the Canuckistan Music website)