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Monday, February 13, 2012

"Kung Fu"

Ash - Kung Fu (1995)

The cover of the single is Manchester United player Eric Cantona executing the "kung-fu style" kick of a fan in the stands that got him an eight month suspension from the sport.

It will take me longer to write this review than it took frontman Tim Wheeler to write the song. Boxing day 1994, in an airport in Northern Ireland; Wheeler spent five minutes writing everything from the music to the lyrics. The next day, he and bassist Mark Hamilton and drummer Rick McMurray recorded it.  The predominant sound is the fuzz amplified guitar. The bass doubles the guitar during almost the entire song. The drums are straight ahead rock. There is an unexpected drum solo around 1:17 consisting of toms and hand claps. Two minutes and seventeen seconds is barely long enough for a song, much less to include a drum solo, no mater how short it is.

Lyrically, like the Kanye West song a few days ago, this track references a number of real and fictional people. In this case, primarily people known for their association with martial arts. Fu Manchu, Mr. Miagi and Daniel LaRusso, Bruce Lee, and Jackie Chan. Chan must have liked the song, he used it at the end of his film Rumble in the Bronx over his famous blooper reel. It was also used in the 1995 film Angus. The exposure given the band by being included in these two films help break them to American audiences.

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