RingMaster Review: MFC Chicken "It's ... MFC Chicken Time!"
Determined to once again twist hips and bodies into shapes and directions never meant to be, MFC Chicken once more get virulently riotous with third album M.F.C. Chicken Time! It is another bundle of their inimitable fifties bred stomp of rock ‘n’ roll and rhythm ’n’ blues, and more of the delicious revelry which marked the band’s previous pair of acclaimed albums. Theirs is a sound which has discovered its perfect recipe but conjures new tasty delights from the same irresistible ingredients. It is aural fast-food pleasure to get greedy over but as the new encounter proves, using familiar spices does not have to lead to predictability or the absence of ingenuity.
MFC Chicken began six years ago with Spencer Evoy, a Canadian musician relocating to London, finding like-minded spirits a top a dirty Holloway Road chicken shack, and giving birth to a garage rock ’n’ roll band quickly earning themselves a potent reputation live and through 2012 debut album Music for Chicken. Released as subsequent propositions through the mighty Dirty Water Records, its success was eclipsed two years later by Solid Gravy, the band’s second album reinforcing and escalating their sound and following, backed as ever by a live hunger seeing the band seemingly everywhere. Earlier this year a richly flavoursome appetiser in the shape of the (Get Outta The) DJ Booth and Lake Bears! singles whetted the appetite for more of the MFC Chicken spiced poultry themed devilry; a wanting more than wholesomely fed by M.F.C. Chicken Time!
Study Hall gets things rocking first, the rhythms of Ravi setting tempo and intent as the vocals of Spencer Evoy join the swinging gait of Zig Criscuolo’s bass and the mischievous guitar of Alberto Zioli. Soon Evoy’s sax is afoot with the festivity, leaping over the sonic strands and infectious rhythms. As if it was needed, the opener confirms that the MFC Chicken sound, and subsequently album, is something to rigorously dance to; exhaustion and pleasure the prime results.
The following Gross People spins a sixties hued adventure with the great tang of keys flirting from within the hazily infectious air of the song. Across the album keys are provided by either Angus McPake or Reverend Parsley, a flavoursome coating to the lively rhythms and great vocal bunching which supports Evoy. As the opener, the song is an easy involvement, an eager persuasion matched by those of 14 Girls and All Afternoon. The vintage air which wraps the album as potently as modern tenacity brings a Little Richard meets Screamin’ Jay Hawkins enticement for the first of the pair whilst its successor leaps around with a naughty twinkle in its melodic eye reminding in many ways of The Stargazers, the eighties version. It also simply grips feet and eagerness, leading them like a puppy into a bounding energy before making way for the sultry instrumental flame of Bad News From the Clinic. With the fiery voice of the sax teasing ears amidst the thick catchiness cast by guitar and rhythms, it is another inevitable boisterous bop, one with an enjoyable hint of The Munsters theme to it.
There is a sense of Hank Mizell to the heftier rock ‘n’ roll of Uncle Willy, a great vociferous harmonica its spiciest tempting whereas Tennessee Girl springs an inescapable trap of rowdy rhythms with that ever delicious sax the juicy instigator in the fusion of rockabilly and garage punk. As always though, it is the full craft and creative devilment across the band which makes MFC Chicken songs burst from the speakers, two prime examples there leading to another in the ballsy saunter of Sit Down, Mess Around and in turn the rhythmic shuffle of 29 Bus, keys and guitars respectively leading resourceful romps from the enslaving rhythmic bait of Ravi and Criscuolo.
The second of these two is a particular favourite within nothing but across M.F.C. Chicken Time! but as the other tracks, including the colourful sixties melodic flirtation of I Can’t Feel My Leg, it get eclipsed by the bewitchingly brilliant Kahuna Hoodoo Hoochie Coo Flu Blues. From its opening sinister noir clad second, the song prowls and swings with a dark jazz and rock ‘n’ roll devilry. Like a mix of again Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, this time with a whiff of Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers and Lonesome Sundown in tow, the track creeps through ears and into the psyche offering the most inventive and compelling encounter on a release stocked with nothing less than thick captivation.
Rumble Strip is a grin of imagination and mischief next, its rock ‘n’ roll sheer feel good majesty matched by the flirty swing of Colonel Sanders’ Bastard Son, another irrepressible slice of rich tasting R&B/garage rock ‘n’ roll enterprise. Both has the body moving through 360 degrees of festivity before allowing Where Is The Meat? to bring the excellent encounter to a rousing conclusion. Ensuring the ever present smile sparked by the start of the album, of release and listener, is as broad as ever at its close, the song simply sums up the glory and fun of MFC Chicken and M.F.C. Chicken Time! in its two thrilling minutes of creative mayhem.
There are no major changes in sound from predecessor Solid Gravy!, but there is definitely new freshness to the imagination of adventure and flavours woven into M.F.C. Chicken Time! The result is another hour of unbridled and one of a kind fun and rock ‘n’ roll pleasure from MFC Chicken; that a real treat in anyone’s book.
M.F.C. Chicken Time! is out from November 9th via Dirty Water Records digitally and on 12” vinyl @ http://www.dirtywaterrecords.co.uk/shop/#!/MFC-Chicken/c/2990295/offset=0&sort=normal
Pete RingMaster 09/11/2015
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