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SULTANS OF PING F.C. (Buy CDs by this artist)
Stupid Kid EP (UK Rhythm King/Epic) 1992
U Talk Too Much EP (UK Rhythm King/Epic) 1992
Casual Sex in the Cineplex (UK Rhythm King/Epic) 1993
Michiko EP (UK Rhythm King/Epic) 1993
Teenage Punks From Planet Sexy EP (UK Rhythm King/Epic) 1993
SULTANS OF PING
Teenage Drug (UK Rhythm King/Epic) 1994
SULTANS
Good Year for Trouble (UK Rhythm King/Epic) 1996
Mescaline EP (UK Rhythm King/Epic) 1996

Every decade needs its rowdy goofball gang of piss-taking cross-dressing hard-drinking prats willing to do anything to have a good musical time and a few laughs along the rock'n'roll way. (It does, doesn't it?) The leading candidate for '90s honors so far is Cork's Sultans of Ping F.C. (now just the Sultans) — not a soccer team exactly, but a garrulous Irish gang who pal around with and sing about Shonen Knife while otherwise striking a sonic posture somewhere between past contenders John Otway, Tenpole Tudor, the post-Rotten Pistols and the New York Dolls. (Plus Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine, Billy Bragg and — until a recent Stooges push — maybe the Waterboys or someone wimpy like that.) In other words, ludicrously brilliant.

U Talk Too Much previews the first album's best track (the rousing, disgusted and catchy "You Talk Too Much") and also boasts the giddy "Japanese Girls," "Robo Cop" and "Armitage Shanks," which predates the Green Day song that misspells the same toilet manufacturer's name by three years. Casual Sex in the Cineplex romps further through such silly shoutalong yobbo charmers as "Kick Me With Your Leather Boots," the viciously funny Fall parody of "Where's Me Jumper?" and the intentionally nauseating (with strings) pill-popping domesticity of "Let's Go Shopping." Dispatching another personal affront in song, the Sultans of Ping rip apart a "Stupid Kid," cheer on a favorite player ("Clitus Clarke"), offer a loopy soccer anthem in "Give Him a Ball (And a Yard of Grass)" and make a pit stop for the superficially pretty pop of "Veronica," which announces "you are what you eat" and then follows the omnivorous thought: "that means you're everything in the world/Everything edible/That means you're everything in the fridge." Damn straight.

[Ira Robbins]