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Synth Single Review: "Kung Fu" by Swayze

Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.


Swayze’s Kung Fu is a theatrical, hyperactive synth romp. The song begins with an over-the-top ramp up and Swayze’s retrotastic voice. Big drums burst out and the guitar slices in a howling line while the ultra cool slap bass adds its own vibe.

The vocal melody has an energizing, leaping quality as the guitar whirls out in a crazily flurrying line, the drums pulsate, and the funky slap bass keeps up its motion. Swayze’s vocals hit fast and hard like a barrage of roundhouse kicks. The guitar rapidly dances, fast and fluid like a kung fu master, ducking and dodging over the pulsing, bouncing drums and throbbing bass.

Count on Swayze to write over the top lyrics that fit the retro vibe. The narrator starts off saying that “I ain't got no sensei, 'cause baby this ain't karate.” He adds that “like my sparring partner” he’s got only respect for “that body.” Our narrator is a confident man as he proclaims that “if you find it hard to breathe” after going a round with him then “we could go out back in my Volkswagen and maybe there I could enter your dragon.”

In an entertaining metaphor, he compares himself to a “spinning hook kick” because “I will surprise you.” He points out that he’s got the “replay value” of Street Fighter II and adds “Ooh you're fun. Let's get hands on like Wing Chun.” Once again, our narrator’s confidence comes through as he says that if she “ever feels too alone at night” then all she has to do is call him up and he’ll be there.

In the chorus, the narrator boasts that he knows kung fu so he can “pounce like a tiger” or “strike like a cobra.” He says “you won’t know what hit ya” and invites all comers to “taste my fists of fury.” He proudly adds that “Soon you will be history 'cause you must with my kung fu!”

Our narrator’s cocky attitude continues as he’s challenged. He taunts his assailant to keep up because “I've been training Iron Palm since I was only eight.” He trash talks his challenger as he says, “Where have you been training? Looks like the China Buffet.”

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As the song winds down, the narrator is in fine form, warning his would-be opponent that "I'll serve you up some kung pao. And I ain't talking about chicken!”

© 2022 Karl Magi

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