Kottonmouth Kings 

With El Pus, Mower, and Subnoize Souljaz. Sunday, November 13, at Peabody's.


With the exception of straight-edge groups, who make a cottage industry of abstinence, one could argue that all bands should openly embrace marijuana -- regardless of whether they actually inhale. Put this in your pipe and smoke it: Just get some paraphernalia props and ask "Do you like to get high?" a dozen times per set, and you too can take advantage of an addled audience.

The Kottonmouth Kings have followed this model brilliantly for the past decade, wrapping punk, rap, and reggae into a marijuana-scented package. The group collaborated with Insane Clown Posse on its full-length debut, Royal Highness, after which its "Down with the Krown" fan base dilated like a pothead's pupils. Live, the Kings stage circus-style spectacles (including a dancing mummy) that attract curious concertgoers who would normally avoid the band's music like a syringe on the beach. It's been an impressive run, but the Kings' career might be going up in smoke. This year's No. 7 suggests that the band has emptied its cornucopia of punning, cannabis-related album titles. The Kings now lace their joints with crunk juice, but these grimy get-low sounds have alienated longtime listeners. Like fellow burnouts Cypress Hill, the Kings are becoming a casualty of their target audience's famously abbreviated attention span.

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