KFJC 89.7FM
Album Review

Cambodian Rocks I I [coll] – [Khmer Rocks]

Thurston Hunger   1/13/2006   CD, International

You’re in your garage and you hear strange sound leaking
out of a floor crack over there in the corner. You grab your
trusty pick axe and chip away at the crack, finally finding
deep beneath the floor a secret chamber with these bands
playing an amazingly engaging style of 60’s pop. You start
dancing, drinking and pass out. Come morning you see this CD
laying on the floor across the original crack. I got this
volume a long time ago, shortly after adding Vol I to the
KFJC library, gotta say the obvious covers (#1 “Hey Jude,”
#5 “If You’re Going to San Francisco”, #11 “Whiter Shade
of Pale”) don’t really float my boat like #16 and #8 do. I
think the latter was used in “City of Ghosts” (a film that
feels like it was built around Matt Dillon’s love of this
brand of Cambodhissatvan pop music…). Check out the ska
charge of #4. maniac laughter over soul on #6! Guitar urgency
often drives these hits, along with some of that mesmerizing
organ, and the now-recognizable keening vocals. Viva Ros
Sereysothea! While others may like the ghost-Penh’d US covers,
I suspect you could toss a killer party by loading up all
(now four) of the Cambodian Rocks collections, and letting
shuffle create a sexy, smoky vibe that is at once familiar
and exotic. I only wish there were secret garage chambers
that could have protected most of those slaughtered by the
Khmer Rouge.

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charles says

greg cahill's is doing a film on ros sereysothea. it should be awesome!

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