It’s beyond cliché to declare an instrumental album the perfect soundtrack for a party. But you could get more specific: A soiree at the Jungle Room of the local roller rink/ drag strip in 1968, with go-go dancers and Ennio Morricone as the special guests. Actually, even that attempt at scene-setting doesn’t do the songs on Killer Filler’s debut, Filler Up, and the ground they cover, justice. Neither would a run at a nifty tag like sloungeadelic, even if you tacked on the suffix “& the MGs.” You still need to account for “Kiddie Pool,” an organ-heavy Young Fresh Fellows-ish giggle gone wordless. True to its title, it captures the joy of a splashing romp but adds a hint of danger that comes with the threat of pee in the pool. Then there’s “Wild Trip,” which could just as easily be titled “Bo Diddley is a Secret Agent,” one of a half-dozen non-originals the group tackles here (including Flat Duo Jets’ “Go This Way”). The other 10 tracks sprang, alternately greasy and gliding, from the mind of band anchor and multiple threat Crispy Bess, who displays the dexterity and wit you might expect from someone with Uncle Tupelo, Southern Culture on the Skids and game show host on his résumé.
And, yes, an instrumental band can display wit, via resourceful playing, clever titling, and even inspired motto-ing: “We don’t sing, but we don’t suck, either.” Party on.
Killer Filler plays Sadlack’s Heroes Saturday, May 10, at 7 p.m.