The San Diego-based combo's eagerly anticipated new album The Best Little Secrets Are Kept is a uniquely magnificent collection that's truly fit for a king. The brainchild of musician/producer Jason Hill along with Brian Karscig, Mark Maigaard, & Jimmy Armbrust, Louis XIV have already drawn acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic with their inventive melange of royally raucous riffs and big bawdy beats. Atlantic. 2005.
For a hip, modern boy, Louis XIV's Jason Hill has plenty of old school rock star attitude. On his San Diego trio's debut album he declares himself a "weapon of mass destruction" and then backs it up with salacious come-ons meant to offend as they intrigue ("I know you want a strangle / Or a mouthful of gasoline / Or to be tied up and stoned"). Lyrical allusions to T. Rex and the Kinks tell only part of Louis XIV's actual musical journey. Hill may fancy Marc Bolan and Ray Davies as elegant dandies, and occasionally borrow their lightweight shuffles to great effect. However, his own proper terrain is the thorny inquisition of the Fall's Mark E. Smith. Here, his band throttles in kind, motoring a cantankerous rhythm section that's every bit as vicious as fellow modern day malcontents the Libertines or White Stripes. --Jaan Uhelszki