Review: Slim Cessna’s Auto Club ‘Kinnery Of Lupercalia: Buell Legion’

Back in 2022 when the world was slowly emerging from the pandemic, I reviewed Kinnery of Lupercalia; Undelivered Legion by Munly & The Lupercalians. Since then, I’ve been digging further into all things Munly and discovered not only Slim Cessna’s Auto Club but also a whole host of connected bands such as Denver Broncos UK, and The Lee Lewis Harlots.

Review: Slim Cessna's Auto Club 'Kinnery Of Lupercalia: Buell Legion' Artwork
Review: Slim Cessna’s Auto Club ‘Kinnery Of Lupercalia: Buell Legion’ Artwork

According to the promotional notes, Kinnery Of Lupercalia: Buell Legion marks the second part of a trilogy of albums that started with the aforementioned Kinnery of Lupercalia; Undelivered Legion. This latest chapter centres around Buells, one of the legions, direct descendants of the Northrops-Petr & The Wulf. Furthermore, we learn that its ‘an existential journey in the mythical world takes the listener to meet the creatures full of dread and heredity… and that SCAC represents the Buells, a bit more gregarious and unreserved than other Legions of Lupercalia’. It may smell suspiciously like a concept album but going by prior output it’s safe to assume it’ll be a hell of a lot more engaging than any number of pompous 1970’s epics.

For newcomers to the Slim Cessna’s Auto Club family, Boucher makes an immediate impact, what with its punky spirit tapping into country punk legends such as Rank and File and the Meat Puppets. The track has a propulsive drive that keeps you enraptured throughout, and I’m surprised the band didn’t select this as the premiere preview track. A superb start.

Cesaré by comparison is darker with tasty post-punk death rock flavourings ala early Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds what with its call and response approach, hell, even a little The Cramps style rockabilly can be detected. With influences like these, how was I going to be anything other than impressed? Easter is a sonic curiosity with its Indian touches as if Ravi Shankar had suddenly embraced alt-country. There’s also a gothic sensibility that again is guaranteed to tick my stylistic boxes.

It fucking rocks without betraying its core goth and alt-country roots…

The album’s preview track Harris interestingly recalls The Dead Kennedys Lie Detector, which isn’t as outlandish as it might sound considering they were once signed to Alternative Tentacles. The spectre of the late, great Duane Eddy also looms large and taken in combination with the ‘Kennedys again imbues the whole affair with a punk spirit. It fucking rocks without betraying its core goth and alt-country roots. Outstanding.

Ichnabod is a little more traditional sounding drawing as it does from the gospel country of The Louvin Brothers with a little Exene Cervenka and Original Sinners thrown in for good measure. The spiritual dimension is further highlighted by the track’s title which is a reference to the priest who was born on the day that the Israelites’ Ark of God was taken into Philistine captivity.

Lessing with its surf guitar and Paisley Underground overtones (Thin White Rope, True West etc) adds a haunting, even creepy quality to brilliant effect and Munly Munly with its sparser sound and hypnotic drumming is not dissimilar to vintage Wire, the dance inflections of Shriekback and New Order also making themselves known. This makes for pleasantly unexpected listening. Meanwhile, Tosspa & Tosspa’s Twin with its cool blend of drone, dark folk, blues and psych filtered through Joy Division feels like the ideal way to conclude the album, demonstrating the band’s talent for incorporating a wide range of moods and genres.

I knew that anything produced by the Slim Cessna’s Auto Club family would be special, but this surpassed my expectations. Invigorating and moving, this is a strong contender for my end-of-year Shaman Top Ten.

Label: Scacunincorporated
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Spotify | Instagram

Scribed by: Reza Mills