14kt God, Panther's debut on Kill Rock Stars, makes it clear that Charlie Salas-Humara has taken a new musical direction. While the spastic energy and no-wave funk he made a name for himself with is still evident, his new work is far more straightforward and percussion dominates every song. Joe Kelly, who used to play with 31 Knots, has joined Charlie and together they've created one strange album.
The album begins with "Puerto Rican Jukebox," a simple song that grooves you to the point of movement and remains in your head after it has ended. The next two songs are quirky, repetitive, and show why it's a bad idea to include "Puerto Rican Jukebox" in a mix...it's a really tough act to follow. Panther kicks it back up again with "On The Lam," a nice, slow, stoned grove. "Violence Diamonds" focuses on drums, guitar, and Charles' falstetto. It's simplistic, catchy, funky, and one of the few modern songs that uses "oooh" and "ahhh" as major lyrics.
"Glamorous War" is a comedown on a carousel, and I mean this as a compliment if the setting is right. It's not a good idea to listen to this song at the end of the night when you are prone to have the spins. The drums are prominent again, but the keys set the mood and strings are featured as well on this carnival song. "Take Your Cane," returns the listener to the quirky funkdom and "Beautiful Condo" keeps you there. "Total Sexy Church" is a lot like its name. Using keys, strings, and percussion, Panther creates two songs in one. The first song is a soft, traditional melody, and the second song is a mad, bongo explosion. It's a highly original song that manages to be soft and yet funky as hell at the same time.
Fans of Charles' unique style and energy will surely dig in to this album and overlook the few songs on the album that fail to really pull the listener in and keep them there. While he's moved away from the boom box and rarely uses multi-tracking, Charles has taken the basics and moved them into his own quirky direction with 14 kt God.
MP3 Download - "On The Lam" Remix by Copy