Koo Koo Kanga Roo agrees with Gertrude Stein: Sometimes, there is no there there. In kid terms, sometimes, when you want to throw a dance party, that’s all you want to do – dance without repercussions. Dance without lectures. Dance without messages. Koo Koo Kanga Roo gets your kids dancing like there’s no homework due tomorrow.
Their seventh full-length release, Slow Clap, features the band’s anarchic, fun-first approach. Songs like “Ink” (about a squid), “Ice Cold Lemonade,” and “200 Worms” do not operate with a subtext. What you hear is what you get. “Password” is a simple fable about gaining entry to a secret club, and then the inevitable happens – no spoilers. The boys luxuriate on “Lazy Life,” demonstrating a total antipathy to responsibility. But what kid wouldn’t salivate over living that lifestyle? Speaking of fun in the fun, Bryan and Neil check off summer entertainment with “Putt Putt Butt Butt” and “Backyard Swimsuit” (respect their Slip and Slide skills)
Coming from the storytelling approach of many traditional children’s recording artists, I half-expected the doorbell-ringing culprits in “Pranks A Lot” to be caught on a Ring camera in the final verse and receive some sort of penance. Nuh-huh. In the Koo Koo Kango Roo universe, Bryan and Neil’s nihilistic hoodlums get off scot free. Minneapolis pop producer Lazerbeak surrounds the kidtastic lyrics with hottom-heavy bass, head-bobbing drumbeats, and state-of-the-art rhythms. “Sneakin’ Downstairs” contains as close to a moral as you’re going to get, and even that is “What happens here stays in the kitchen.”
In other news, Koo Koo Kanga Roo is once again teaming up with UNICEF’s Kid Power program, offering kids a “Sticky Icky” challenge (this bee-positive tune kicks off Slow Clap). Teachers, groups and families may sign up and enter the contest for a chance to win a personalized video call from Bryan and Neil.
Thanks to their Lazerbeak connections, Bryan and Neil fill the guest spots on Slow Clap with rappers Murs, Sims, and Mega Ran. No surprise that they mesh perfectly with Koo Koo Kanga Roo’s blend of fun and frenzy. Take a car ride on the highway and turn it up. You’ll get to your destination sooner with a record low count for “Are we there yet” queries. That alone is worth a slow clap.
Here is a video for the song “Putt Putt Butt Butt”: