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virus237 BLACK KALI MA
You Ride The Pony (I'll Be The Bunny)
virus237 (2000) CD - $12.00 | LP - $12.00
The Pony (I'll Be The Bunny) , Black Kali Ma don't mess around. 2 guitars, bass, drums and freight-trained vocals that are Gary's most powerful in over a decade. You get 10 songs in 42 minutes, classic album-rock with equal parts, blues, arena rock, and southern fried flavor.

Each song tries to outdo the last, as Floyd verbally assaults the sad state of American society. No-nonsense, kick-ass, for lack of a better word,
R ? O ? C ? K ?

Gary Floyd has amassed a loyal international following since having released over a dozen albums as DICKS, SISTER DOUBLE HAPPINESS, The GARY FLOYD BAND on popular labels such as Alternative Tentacles Records, Sub Pop, Glitterhouse, SST, Reprise,.. Background vocals on "Movin' On" by Lynn Perko (Imperial Teen, Sister Double Happiness).

"Hard-rock comebacks are as common as mud, but it's rare for a graying firebrand to imporve upon youth's pink chaos. Singer Gary Floyd introduced a bluesy Texas wail to hardcore punk in the early Eighties via the Dicks, then helped father pre-Nirvana alternative rock in San Francisco's Sister Double Happiness. His latest band, Black Kali Ma, betters those underground achievements while answering a higher calling -- shit-kicking rock like Daddy used to make, but with a clear-minded twist sure to put a smile on Ma. She'd particularly enjoy "Kali," a good-ol'-boy tribute to matriarchy that, like the rest of the album, is equal parts hilarious, humanistic and hell-raising. While leering at the local hoods who populate "Angel Face," "Shakin' the Nun" and "Remain Awesome," Floyd and friends generate testosterone-overload anthems that simultaneously worship and demystify coarse masculinity in a shotgun wedding of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Tennessee Williams. These knowing elders address what it really means to take it like a man."

- Rolling Stone

"Out of the not-so-long-lost depths of the San Francisco Bay Area punk scene, former Sister Double Happiness and Dicks singer Gary Floyd has taken the blues direction of the defunct Gary Floyd Band and retooled it into another, tougher rock act. His latest band, Black Kali Ma, has just released its debut CD "You Ride the Pony (I'll Be the Bunny)" on longtime punk beacon Alternative Tentacles.

The band combines Floyd's trustworthy blues-core voice with the two-guitar attack of Matt Margolin (Smokin' Rhythm Prawns) and Danny Roman (Sister Double Happiness), supported by bassist Ed Ivey (Rhythm Pigs) and drummer Bruce Ducheneaux (the Gary Floyd Band).

Black Kali Ma takes a very basic hard rock angle, sticking to song forms and straight changes, rather than power riffs or spacey jam interplay. The band throws in a bit of chainsaw feedback when appropriate, keeps the solos in check and chugs through ten cuts of mainly blue-collar, Southern-style rock.

But the most notable facet of Floyd's new band--which takes its name from the paradoxical Hindu goddess Kali, who both destroys and creates-- is that it could appeal to a far wider audience than any one of the rock subgenres that the band's sound is connected to, albeit subtly.

Floyd's on-record persona has a psycho zeal similar to AC/DC's late vocalist Bon Scott, but his Texan vocal style also carries the "Oo-oo, that smell" flavor of Lynyrd Skynyrd's late vocalist Ronnie Van Zandt. Considering the band's drive and its adherence to tested rock 'n' roll forms, the album could appeal to fans of ZZ Top and even Black Sabbath.

While those Southern rock and heavy rock audiences might not exactly come running, Floyd and company may have enough experience to gain recognition on the national scene. Sister Double Happiness made four albums (the band was dropped by Reprise after only one album, but returned with a vengeance with more indie releases); the Gary Floyd Band equaled that number of albums and earned a popular following in Germany because of its live prowess. But after that blues-focused band broke up, Floyd wanted to return to Sister Double Happiness' "meaner" sound.

This release sets him on the right direction, and if college radio and club promoters pick up on this act, Floyd may find that he can start rolling with a regional tour. That could swell into more national attention, and if nothing else, this Southern-style brand of indie hard rock might earn converts in the way alt-country did a few years ago."

- Live Daily

"BLACK KALI MA could provide the soundtrack to a barroom brawl. We need more bands that sound like they can ride motorcycles and chew cactus at the same time. Black Kali Ma, who just released "You Ride the Pony (I'll Be the Bunny)," features ex-Dicks and Sister Double Happiness singer Gary Floyd, ex-SDH guitarist Danny Roman, and former members of other Bay Area bands Smokin' Rhythm Prawns, Rhythm Pigs and Waycross.

The music is down and dirty, with big guitars and snarling attitude. They sound somewhat like Junkyard, which was based in L.A. but sounded equal parts Southern rock and punk. Black Kali Ma even has a little sentimental pop in them, evidenced by the catchy "Wonderful." The sentimentality is brief, of course, as the following song is called "Evil Clown." It gets better in the following song, "Remain Awesome." Floyd pulls absolutely no punches in singing: "You got to gamble, and then you get drunk, you love to break glass, and then get beat up. These things help you remain awesome." Later, Floyd muses: "A sissy is a soft thing. You love to hear him scream."

Another favorite of mine is "Shakin' the Nun," the lyrics for which we probably shouldn't print in this newspaper. This is just the thing for those hard-rock lovers who failed corporate sensitivity training. There's more than just fun lyrics delivered with a growl to Black Kali Ma. The guitars are crunchy and powerful, and they drive the songs. This is real rock 'n' roll, though I'm at a loss to explain the hand-drawn pony and bunny on the CD cover. I don't want to know."

- Contra Costa Times



1. "Kali" (4:32)
2. "I'm O" (3:29)
3. "Angel Face" (3:52)
4. "Wonderful" (4:00)
listen to "Wonderful"   MP3 (3.7 MB)
5. "Evil Clowns" (4:28)
6. "Remain Awesome" (3:03)
listen to "Remain Awesome"   MP3 (2.8 MB)
7. "Price We Pay" (4:29)
8. "Movin' On" (5:21)
9. "Shakin' The Nun" (3:34)
listen to "Shakin' The Nun"   MP3 (3.3 MB)
10. "Roll Back Home" (5:12)

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