By Rhin Howard
There’s so much to say about Kung Fu Jesus besides having a pretty sweet name. The band, who hail from The Shire, Scotland, are hilarious and skilled lyric and music makers. And Celestial Gold is a curation of zippy pop through a kind of ‘80s/‘90s pop filter. There’s also reggae, a touch of salsa, and dance. Lots of opportunity to dance.
These merry musicians are led by Craig Snape (yes, it’s delightful, Harry Potter fans) and Snape has dubbed himself the Dark Beach Boy from Asgard. He’s probably not wrong as this music could definitely be found drifting through the Caribbean air by way of the Scottish Highlands after a brief stop off in a reggae club.
Celestial Gold feels beautifully nostalgic and full of pirates. It’s such a strange mixture of ideas and genres, it works. There’s something uplifting about the entire record. The messages may be heavy at times but the melodies are always buoyant.
There’s a reason the band is in high demand. They play all over and don’t seem to be slowing down. Kung Fu Jesus are driven by the need to spread their unusual yet inspiring message. They will not rest until everyone hears it.
Stand Out Tracks:
“Rainbow Road” is posh and funky.
“Fenris Wolf” is the first reggae Celtic song I’ve ever heard. It’s quite excellent.
“God of Thunder” is so satisfyingly Scottish pop, it might as well come with haggis and free tickets to the art house showing of Gregory’s Girl. That’s meant in a punk way.
“Kurt Cobain” is a weirdly surprising upbeat track. Very un-Cobain. Very upbeat.
“Smartphones” is an odd ranty chant. “Smart phones are for dumb motherfuckers.” So if you’re reading this on your smartphone, you are probably smirking at the irony.
“I’m On Fire” puts us at the club or on the boat or on the roof. It’s a good song to pop and lock to or just glide.
“Monkey Man” is wacky but enjoyably so.
Kung Fu Jesus Members:
Craig Snape-singer/songwriter, guitar, keyboards, bass guitar, drumloops
Phil O’Shea-keyboards, drumloops, arrangement
Keiran Allan-backing vocals, spiritual dancer
Celestial Gold Tracklist:
1. Rainbow Road
2. Golden One
3. Kurt Cobain
4. Monkey Man
6. God Of Thunder
7. Fenris Wolf
8. I’m On Fire
9. The White Wind
10. Double Dragon
11. Saint Nick