Arish Ahmad Khan, better known as King Khan, has spent his entire two-decade-long career crafting leftfield garage punk in collaboration. He started with The Spaceshits in the late 90s in Montreal, then took Mark Sultan with him to form The King Khan & BBQ Show; he fronted King Khan and the Shrines before fusing his band with The Black Lips for one record as The Almighty Defenders. In 2009, there was even talk of a full-length record with Wu-Tang Clan's GZA—even a full remake of 36 Chambers backed by Khan's garage sensibilities. (Nothing surfaced, sadly.)
Now, 22 years into his career, he's announced details of his first solo album. Murderburgers will have Khan backed up by the dormant Oakland band the Gris Gris, and it's out October 13 on Khan's own Khannibalism label. "It's a Lie," released yesterday, is the first song from the record and, while it's not strictly an original—you can find a messier version on a Norton Records compilation from way back in 2009—it's every bit as lively, soulful, and carefree as a King Khan single should be. Khan's voice is pushed up an octave, and everything's radically cleaner than it was on the original, so his paranoia comes through clearly: "Don't tell me that there's nothing wrong with me baby / I've got some evil mind baby, and I want you to tell me why."
In a statement, Khan explained the record's conception:
We made this album in about one week, I got the Gris Gris to back me up and do a few shows in all the murder capitals of America. In Chicago we even had Andre Williams come and join us on stage for a song… it was quite a trip, and then we holed up at the Creamery and put it all on to analog tape with Greg Ashley twiddlin' his knob like there was no tomorrow. It was a bitch slappin' good time and a tribute to how much love i have for Oakland and especially to all the good times we had at the Ghost town gallery and eating Big Poppa's burgers. Oakland may never be the same, but it will always be in my heart!
Listen to 'It's a Lie" below.
Alex Robert Ross is on Twitter.