JONNY KURT VS. HANK THE TANK: Awo Maria: LP

The curious cover art set me to thinking that perhaps this was some kind of Alternative Tentacles-styled outsider artist working their/its genius here, perhaps some kind of mental patient biker/artist who’s been selling hand-duped yodeling cassettes in the streets of Dusseldorf for the last thirty years whom we are only now getting set hip to the brilliance thereof. Turns out that, on the first side at least, JKvHtT are a serviceable if not terribly memorable German surf band, like the ones we used to get around these parts twenty or twenty-five years ago. Decent but nothing to text home about, though they do uncork one true wing ding, the utterly off the wall “Action II,” which sounds like German Martians eating my brain with fondue forks. The second side apparently unloosens the screws at the back of their tongues, because it’s got vocals, and is more all-over-the-place-ish, delivering reverbed-out minimalist oddness from goof-country to trad-punk. My take is that the schnitzel chased “extraordinary” and caught “pleasant” in the process. BEST SONG: “Action II.” BEST SONG TITLE: “Verfassungschützer.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: I can’t remember the last time I saw pointillism on a record cover. –Rev. Nørb (Mama Leone / Phantom / E.Y.E.S.C.R.E.A.M. / Soundevil)