Kung Fu… That’s What I Like

In 1988, Ten Hands won the NTSU Battle of the Bands. With the $500 prize money, they went into a small studio right off the square, in Denton, TX, and recorded their first official release, featuring half of Denton singing along on Bushlock Sadie.

Paul Slavens - Vocals, Keyboards
Steve Brand - Guitars, Vocals
Gary Muller - Chapman Stick, Vocals
Earl Harvin - Drums, Vocals
Mike Dillon - Percussion, Vocals

Produced by Robert Wexler

ESG Recordings, Inc.

Review by Christian Huey

Vibrant and occasionally brilliant club rock from this Denton, TX, band. Kung Fu…That’s What I Like sports several of Ten Hands’ signature tunes, arranged and produced better here than anywhere else. The only studio release by the band to capture adequately the mayhem they let loose in their live shows, Kung Fu sees Slavens and company firing on all pistons. Chapman stick ace Muller lays down a throbbing groove throughout, while Slavens’ gravely throat conjures up more intonations in a 30-second span than Mel Blanc. Syncopated snares and bongos foam at the mouth, specifically on the percussion-only “Bushlock Sadie.” The band establishes their penchant for Zappa-esque absurdism halfway through a few songs that break down unexpectedly into a drum, bass, and synth jam session, with Slavens speaking in tongues in an impossible meter. “I Was Confused (About the Television Set)” and “The Greenhouse Effect” spell out Ten Hands’ political raison d’ĂȘtre, the latter being an outright diatribe. The madness stops only briefly for the moving piano ballad “Old Eyes.” At seven tunes and 34 minutes, Kung Fu is brief, but it’s a tasty little morsel. It’s a reminder that party music can have a message.

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