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The Queen of Kings

Acid King's Lori S. takes inspiration from a tale of terror


In the summer of 1984, the Acid King ruled New York. Teenage dusthead and self-styled Satanist Ricky Kasso dominated the news for two days with his spaced-out "I can taste your soul" eyes, his purported black-magic skills and his open admission of killing a schoolmate while flying on mescaline as he screamed, "Say you love Satan," to the dying boy. He then hanged himself in his jail cell while being held for the murder. That that should have been the end of the Acid King's reign of terror. But the New York media ran wild with speculation that he was warped by Anton LaVey's Satanic Bible or Dungeons & Dragons or a rumored death cult that was run by the stoners of a Long Island public high school. Such are the makings of a cult figure.

Or a band. Inspired by David St. Clair's tabloid novel about Mr. Kasso's sordid life, Lori S. decided to form a band with Kasso serving as muse, figurehead and patron saint. With Kasso's life providing grist for Lori's lyrics, the music of Acid King is the internal soundtrack drug-addled teenage psychopaths hear as they go about their daily business (sharpening knives, muttering cryptically, shouting at imagined phantoms, etc.). Admittedly "not much of a lyricist," Lori more than compensates by wringing the neck of her guitar until it coughs up thick, chunky riffs that creep along at stoner speed, then spiral out of control with biker/space-rock dreaminess. It doesn't hurt that she's backed up by one of the greatest tandems in the history of rhythm sections: bassist Guy Pinhas (ex-Obsessed, ex-Goatsnake) and drummer Joey Osbourne (sometimes Altamont member and rumored kid brother of King Buzzo). Acid King creates a rippling, hallucinatory terrain where death cults and black-magic cabals lurk in the woods, dead bodies are buried under rotting leaves and angel dust shimmers in the air. Ricky called it home.

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