October 10, 2016

For pure groove-ability, you’d be harder pressed to find a better instrumental album than last year’s The Universe Smiles Upon You by Houston’s Khruangbin. An equal mixture of soul, surf rock, R&B and Thai funk, their down tempo tracks are things of beauty. For pure surreal, kung-fu fucked-up-edness, you’ll be equally impressed by the video for the band’s latest single, “Two Fish and an Elephant.” The Kickstarter-funded mini-movie opens with a young woman, Two Fish, staring into the distance before panning to her other side to show she’s actually covered in splattered blood. A string is attached to a ring she’s wearing, which she proceeds to follow through a banana warehouse filled with dead, arrow-filled bodies (did I mention the heroine is wearing a quiver of arrows?) who provide the “ooh ooh ah” backing vocals. For some reason, the bananas have not been spared use as target practice, either. At the end of the string is an even more arrow-riddled dude, The Elephant, who looks like Frank Miller’s Wolverine from the Chris Claremont mini, who takes the fainting archer into his arms.

And then it becomes a Hollywood dance number.

I’ll let you experience the rest for yourself. As for the track itself, it does not disappoint. Guitarist Mike Speer massages his strings to draw low key thunder over the concrete bass line foundation laid by Laura Lee while Donald Johnson ties the entire thing together with his steadying, largely brushed percussion. The last three minutes are credits, the majority of which are dedicated to the project’s backers, but they’re worth sitting through, if for no other reason than you get to hear the fantastic track all over again.