Artist: MFC Chicken
Album: It’s … MFC Chicken Time!
Label: Dirty Water Record
Released: December 2015
It might be a master complot of these maniacs to make every living soul dance, but I gladly surrender. With that being said, their third album It’s… MFC Chicken Time! is yet again an extremely solid dance album.
The band consists of Spencer Evoy on magical tenor sax and vocals, Alberto Zioli on guitar and vocals, Ravi on the drums, Zig on bass guitar and as guest chickens: Reverend Parsley on the organ and vocals, Pastor McPake on the organ and Fernando Terror on bass guitar and vocals. MFC Chicken is big band of big boys that love to play around.
All of their music has one important factor throughout and that is humour, which too many times doesn’t get the credit it really deserves. In this ridiculous world of anger and hatred, humour is much needed. It is vital, actually. I would go as far as to say it’s our only way of survival. Bear with me before starting in judgmental. Why do you go to work everyday? To help you and yours or those who really, really suffer? Exactly. And there’s nothing wrong with that. We have to first take care of ourselves before we can take care of others. And that’s where humour enters. How in hell could we wake up everyday, get in the tube, punch the clock, do our mundane work chores, go back home, eat, dump, sleep and do it all again the next day, if the horrors of this world were constantly in our minds? Simple, we wouldn’t. We wouldn’t be able to move a muscle. So, let us help wherever and whenever we can, but, foremost, live a life worth living. We fortunately can; therefore, we owe it to life to live it fully.
MFC Chicken helps us do exactly that. Their sound is so effervescent and jolly that you can drown all your sorrows in it, and the lyrics so insanely goofy you won’t even remember you had sorrows in the first place. So, let’s talk about chicken, shall we? After all, it is the main subject of this album. Bearing in mind, though, that the meaning is not what it seems. It is a fantastic nonsensical metaphor that came straight from the dirty chicken shop downstairs where they were formed in Holloway Road. If chicken can represent everything, then it surely can solve anything! You just have to reorder your formatted brain and you’re free to embrace the wonders of the chicken. Let the hilarity begin– all hail to the chicken!
The saxophone is undoubtedly the star, but without those vocals teasing us, teaching us what Joie de Vivre is all about, met with that delicious demented organ and the rhythm section leading our hips, feet and tumbling head to some kind of frenetic musical seizure, it, wouldn’t be MFC Chicken now would it? Maniac raw garage rock ‘n’ roll fuelled with plenty of rockabilly flavour, lavished with primal jazz and a whole lot of good old rhythm and blues. Some bring Screamin’ Jaw Hawkins, Little Richard, Dick Dale, The Sonics, and many others to the pot. And, I fully understand why, but not me. MFC Chicken has a lot of clear inspirations in their repertoire, yes, but as I see it, it comes from a deep understanding of their musical roots more than from any specific artist. They are but the sum of everything they’ve heard in their lives and they bring their own interpretation on their own terms. In chicken terms, of course.
“Study Hall,” for all those who don’t know their previous albums yet, is the first song and works perfect as a visit card. There is their core, the glorious saxophone, the speedy crescendo in the rhythmic guitar and drums, and the vocals messing up with your seriousness.
In “Gross People,” the Colonel urges you to listen to what he has to preach. MFC Chicken is providing you a most serious public service. Now, now, boys and girls– he preaches– keep your tongues to the comfort of your home, your wet affection is “Gross, gross!”
But, MFC Chicken has more in store. What about that harmonica in “Uncle Willy,” enticing the hillbilly inside of us all? There we are, doing the cowboy line dance in some barn in the middle of America’s nowhere.
“Sit Down, Mess Around” starts as a preaching gospel with the organ on an awe-inspiring pedestal just as they warm the audience yet again for a delicious dance of the senses with both sax and organ leading the vocals and the happy-spirited chorus.
“Tennessee Girl,” “29 Bus,” and “14 Girls” are all at full throttle. Throw yourself in the pit, shake your head up high, stop any reveries, any ruminations of any kind and let them consume your body in their full wacky splendour.
During “All Afternoon,” I could imagine myself sipping a Margarita, stomping one foot whilst resting for like a microsecond ‘til hitting the floor again– even better if there’s a nice guy willing to swirl you around, while you clap away with a coquettish silly smile.
“Bad News From The Clinic” makes you dance, don’t they all, but gives you the feeling that you’re somehow transgressing something. If not for the title, then from that saxophone that seems to watch your every move. It’s like, “Yeah, I might sound all happy and shit, but I’m on the lookout, doll, and it might just be you who I’m aiming for.” Well, stop that, you ain’t scaring me.
But then, oh my, what to do of “Kahuna Hoodoo Hoochie Coo Flu Blu?” Are you putting your crazy voodoo on me? Hey, now wait a minute, I just came here to dance and have a good time. Say what, no need to worry? So it’s just a delightful captivating scarecrow-like tune? That’s all the better.
My previous doubt is somehow answered in “Rumble Strip.” MFC Chicken are playing here straight from hell– wherever that is– and finally letting it all loose. Let them, it’s liberating, and we all should do it from time to time.
Having now exorcised their demons, they can finally breathe normally again. Actually, what is normal anyway? During this time, they give us another upbeat song with “Colonel Sanders’ Bastard Son.” These Bastard Sons are a thousand times better than the if-existing sons of the Colonel Sanders himself by showing their deep appreciation for the meat– the almighty wonders of chicken. The hysterical “Where Is The Meat” shows us precisely that appreciation– a song about their utter shock when entering a vegan restaurant where they seriously consider eating the waiter.
Humour, my friends, should rule the world. Wouldn’t everything be so much easier, more logical and more human? I apologise in advance for bringing a quote as my final statement. Take it as you want, I myself will take it as food for thought:
“Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world’s original sin. If the caveman had known how to laugh, History would have been different.” – Oscar Wilde
Cheers, me hearties, and don’t forget to hug the music.
By Penelope York