Dirty Water Records

Taking Music Backwards Into Tomorrow

Listen with Monger: MFC Chicken "Solid Gravy"

Trying to explain the phenomenon that is MFC Chicken to the uninitiated is tantamount to arguing for the need to wear to tie with a man who doesn't own a shirt. I would assert, however, that there is a great need for MFC Chicken in this world than there is for the neck tie - although I'm sure the band would disagree as they are far snappier dressers than this humble blogger. This second Long Player from the London based, multi-national group is not a far stretch from their first but then again, if ain't broke why the hell fix it? Instead, MFC Chicken have done some fine tuning and put those months of relentless gigging to good use. The album opens with a mock advert aimed at bored housewives in need of some greasy, meaty satisfaction in every sense during the 'Chicken 'Bout You' and we're off. I hope you're wearing something comfortable.

The first real song of the album is 'Pocahontas' which starts with a tribal chant that you might have heard in a 1950s Leopard Lodge before Spencer Evoy leads the band through a rock'n'roll riot that pivots on the line "Pocahontas ain't got nothing on me" - surely a Disney franchise is only a matter of time? '(Get Outta The) DJ Booth' will soon be a theme tune to all purist alternative DJs across the land as Spencer, in between saxophone rasps, sings "I'm digging the sax, I digging the Pianah but I really want to hear just a little Rhianna....NO!". A band like MFC Chicken need their own dance craze and 'Voodoo Chicken' is exactly the tune to start that off as the horns blast low and sexy over the top of some wild surf guitar courtesy of Mr Alberto Zioli. The storytelling beauty and humour of 'I'm Her Pet' features a sexual predator enslaving a man in a cage for her own titillation but in a fun way before 'Hot Friend' goes all instrumental on us to let the sax wail and the bass take centre stage for a change.

They're modest too...

Every one of these 14 tracks is entertaining and infectious with the intention of making you dance until you sweat through every layer of clothing and no longer care what the rest of the audience think. '(Show Me The) Gravy, Baby' is a tune to twist to which you'll need to do if you eat all the food name checked in this little beauty....including mushy peas. Ironically a band who really heavily on poultry for their lyrical inspiration, the next song is 'Don't Wanna Talk About Chicken' which features some spooky, Dick Tracey style guitar notes and shuffling drums until the chorus kicks in which you can almost imagine John Travolta singing in a deleted seen from Grease where they visit a chicken shack after winning a drag race. The sax fuelled 'Well Now' will have you singing along in no time, largely due to the simple lyrics but also due to the Johnny Cash vibe of the music. Possibly my favourite track on the album is 'M.F. Sea Chicken' which rolls Dick Dale, the Beach Boys and a big pile of organ, courtesy of Reverend Parsley, in to one sexy, brooding lump of instrumental seaside fun with a hint of the Manzareks about it.

As we enter the home straight, 'Chicken Shack' rolls around to get the hop jumpin' and jivin' as well as getting them thinking about getting some sticky, greasy chicken on the way home to soak up all those malt shakes. Evoy's rasping vocals are once again in evidence on the bluntly titled 'Horseshit' while 'White Leather Boots' shows off a slightly stalkerish or predatorial side to the band as they keep to the shadows to follow you home. The album closes with 'Dirty Little Bitch', opening with some gentle organ and guitar before Evoy gets ever so slightly Springsteen in his vocal approach and then the drumming of Ravi kicks it up a notch and we're up for one last spin on the dance floor. The thing with MFC Chicken is that you could just dance to the music and have a whale of a time and nobody would mind. But if you want real value for money then you should also take time to appreciate the clever and often funny lyrics as well as the complete dedication to a style of music that is so often approximated but rarely presented in its purist form as it is here. Oh, and if nothing else then you should at least take a shot every time they use Chicken as a metaphor for sex - you'll be drunk by the end of the album, trust me.

Roland Monger

Dirty Water Records London