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Hello World! (Gulcher Records) $10

Ken Kaiser says: "'The Worst Band In The World' was the headline in Sounds Magazine on March 10, 1979. They were describing The Korps and their new LP, Hello World. Ouch! But then the text continued, 'The worst band in the world make an album of superlative chic.' The reviewer, Dave McCullough, went on to give the LP five out of a possible five stars--the highest possible rating. How could a widely read, respected, mainstream magazine describe the Korps as the worst band in the world? How could they turn around and praise their 1978 album in terms so lofty it seemed that Hello World might take a place in the pantheon of most overrated records of all time? Did this make any sense? What was it all about? Why am I asking you? The reason people were so gaga about the Korps (pronounced 'core') was that they had actually recorded a blazing hot rock album. This brilliantly packaged Gulcher reissue contains the original 16 tracks and four outtakes from Hello World, the 1977 Ken Kaiser solo 45, and a final bonus 1979 cut by The Kennes. Add 'em up--23 slices of prime number weirdness! The sound is crisp, clean, strong, and loud. Tossed in the mix are the Slickee Boys' Kim Kane, the amazing vocals of Martha Hull, a 10-page booklet featuring incisive song analyses by Ken Kaiser, and a slew of unpublished photos. All combine to give the album a spontaneous zeitgeist of manic energy and the unabashed enthusiasm of ignorant youth. Hello World has a great sound and is fun to listen to. The songs are short, catchy sing-a-long refrains. 'We Are The Only Real People' kicks off this raw, distorted roller coaster ride. 'Winner By Elimination,' ' Designs On You,' and 'Mad At The World' are ready-made pop classics. Martha Hull's vocal brilliance is undeniable--hear her moving, preternaturally beautiful voice on '(I Wanna) Burnout.' One of the themes which permeates every track is a sort of giggling, in-joke-infested insanity. Check out 'Don't Get Fresh With Me' and 'I Went Downtown, To See My Gal, She Wasn't There--So I Left.' It's obvious that these guys had fun making this record! Kenne Highland and Kenny Kaiser met during the recording of the Afrika Korps Music To Kill By album in 1977. That LP, reissued on CD in 2001 (Gulcher 405), was picked by Julie Burchill as the best album of the year in New Musical Express. One year earlier Kenne Highland had already commenced leaving his footprints on the face of posterity with the proto-punk legends the Gizmos. Together, the Korps duo had absorbed the best of Iggy & The Stooges, the Ramones, the Dictators, Moe and those earlier Stooges, Kiss, Alice Cooper, the Who, and all the weird, wild, and wonderful stuff that they could find. They digested it all down to its barebones essence, then regurgitated the entire mix onto a pizza pie of bright blue vinyl. That was Hello World! The Korps were together for just one year, but Highland and Kaiser would work together for the rest of the 70s and the first half of the 80s. Kenne Highland remains world-renowned, notorious as one the few true wildman geniuses of all time. Both Kennes have gigged extensively in and around their homebase of Boston, Massachusetts, and performed on innumerable records, tapes and CDs. Hello World was one of the high points in the recording careers of both Kennes. Now is your chance to hear for yourself what all the fuss was about. You have my personal guarantee that you will love this CD, and I oughta know!"