King Uszniewicz and his Uszniewicztones

REVIEW by Leen Wyndaele:

Yes, indeed. How to describe King U's inimitable sound? It's hard to do justice to the absolute AWFULNESS of it all but let me put it this way: your average kindergarten combo let loose on a couple of guitars and a sax might do a better job than these guys. Check out the half-strangled vocals on slow numbers such as "Cry on my shoulder" and "This Should Go On Forever", King choking back the emotions, sputtering and hiccuping in admirable over the top rockabilly parody style. The only thing is: this guy is SERIOUS! He's doing the best he can! And if you think King U's vocals are a nightmare, check out the backing vocals on "Wild Little Willie" and appreciate the true meaning of the phrase "off-key". Things don't come any offer key than this. The heart-stoppingly tragic "Little Dead Surfer Girl" (undoubtedly SOMEBODY's all-time favorite song title)... features a self-proclaimed "sexy talking part" by King U in which his Ronda is sinking under the cruel waves and calls out these famous dying words: "Oh, tell me a bout it, baby, tell me some more". What a show-stopper. It's almost impossible to talk about worse and worst here, but "Surfin' School" really plumbs the depths. "Lead guitar now!", the King yells halfway through what you might euphemistically call the song, - an ominous warning indeed, at which point somebody or someTHING starts abusing what at one time presumably was an electric guitar. The listener is advised to stop up his/her ears or suffer ever after from terminal musical shock But why go on? The only redeeming quality of these 12 ear-assaulting pieces of auditory trash is that they are all extremely SHORT.
Strangely compelling.
Weirdly fascinating.

from the SLEEVE NOTES by Cub Koda:
© Norton - reproduced for didactic/informative purpose only

King Uszniewicz (pronounced 'You-Sneb-Bitch') & The Uszniewicztones: lame, out-of-tune vocals (delivered with 3rd-rate Elvis imitator enthusiasm by tenor saxophonist/bandleader Ernie 'King' Uszniewicz, occasionally 'helped' by lead guitarist 'Logjam Lurch' Patterson, who was only worse), horrid two and three note sax & guitar solos, flagrant disregard for tempo or even remotely keeping their instruments in tune, with every song in their repertoire being played in the same monotonous key of E natural. Either these guys were drunk, stoned, both & just didn't care or they were just 'having a bad night' or - could it be?- THEY REALLY SOUNDED LIKE THIS!! King Uszniewicz and his Uszniewicztones were undoubtedly, THE WORST BAND I EVER HEARD IN MY LIFE. See if you don't agree. Every song in his repertoire was played in the key of E, the only key Ernie knew how to sing and blow his three note sax solos in. He used his sax to direct the band,... honking a stray note right in the middle of his vocals to get the band back on course toward the proper chord changes. Ernie always knew what he was trying to play in his own mind (the solo on "The Birds & The Bees", for instance), even if the results coming out of his horn were another matter entirely. His singing was always passionate and involved, especially when he strained his voice to hit notes that were totally out of his range. Ernie always liked a big finish. He based his entire delivery around embellishing everything he ever heard Elvis do except the singing on key part. If Presley hiccuped, Ernie hiccuped as loud and as often as he could. If Elvis took a deep sexy breath, then King U. tried to sound like a vacuum cleaner in heat. The actual lyrics to a song didn't really matter much to Ernie. He would sing as much of it as he could remember and make the rest up as he went along. If Sid Vicious had heard lead guitarist Lurch Patterson's version of "If I Had A Hammer", it probably would have scared him straight.

TRACKS:

volume 1:
  1. Surfin' School
  2. Cry On My Shoulder
  3. Wild Little Willie
  4. Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow
  5. This Should Go On Forever
  6. Yukkum Yukkum
  7. Little Latin Lupe Lu
  8. Greenback Dollar Watch & Chain
  9. Little Dead Surfer Girl
  10. Tappin' That Thing
  11. The Crusher
  12. Sapphire
volume 2:
  1. Peppermint Twist
  2. I Saw Her On The Beach
  3. Bop Bop Baby
  4. Are We Really Going Steady?
  5. Black Saxes
  6. Donna The Prima Donna
  7. Wicked Ruby
  8. I'll Never Know
  9. Out Of This World
  10. Graduation Kills
  11. I'm A Hog For You Baby
  12. Tiger By The Tail
  13. Way Down Yonder In New Orleans
  14. Rats In My Room
  15. Chances Are
  16. Twistin' U.S.A.
volume 3:
  1. Do Wah Diddy Diddy
  2. Woo-Hoo
  3. Land of 1,000 Dances
  4. If I Had A Hammer
  5. Crocodile Rock
  6. She Won't Turn Over For Me
  7. The Chicken Pecker
  8. Love Letters In The Sand
  9. From Me To You
  10. GTO
  11. Kung Fu Fighting
  12. The Birds & The Bees
  13. Dear One
  14. Shout! Shout! (Knock Yourself Out)
  15. Satisfaction
  16. At The Hop

DETAILS:

King Uszniewicz and his Uszniewicztones: all LP's, Norton, USA:
"Teenage Dance Party with" (208, 1989)
"Volume 2: Twistin' and Bowlin' with" (ED 221, 1991)
"Volume 3: Doin' the Woo Hoo with" (ED 238, 1994)


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