on 3 June 2015
The King's produce what must surely be their best collection of work, Gretchen and Dogman coming in to Ty (tie) up the Holy Trinity (Faith Hope Love, Out of the Silient Planet, Ear Candy also all great albums!)
This album, their fourth, released in '92, has, in my opinion, their best body of work created. I've been re-igniting my love for them recently, and having gone through the albums, OOTSP, Gretchen, FHL, and the following release after King's X, Dogman, I've come to the decision that this is the one that completely knocked me off my feet.
From the awesome opener 'World around me', with Ty's spiralling riff, and Doug's usual great vocals, a song that instantly gives the album a fierce kick, to the mesmerizingly tingly finisher 'Silent Wind', this album has it all. Anthemic tunes, pounding riffs, outstanding solos, arpeggio riffs that even Alex Lifeson would die for! excellent joint harmonies, and a superb vocal performance from Dug.
People often don't realise that Ty Tabor down-tuned and almost accidently created Korn! lol. Ok, Maybe not true, but they definitely must be one of the first of their kind. Alice in Chains anyone?
I really can't praise this album enough. It took all that was great from the previous 3 albums, and moulded a faultless production for the fourth, without a single dull track.
After 'The World Around Me', opening the album with a intricate signature chord change from Ty, through to a freight train riff, and then onto Prisoner, a punchy riff orientated rock number, one of there best penned tunes.
The Big Picture has a hefty weight to it with a huge chorus built around crunching chords, and Dug viscerally soaring through fuzzy vocals. It's also one of King's X's country rock touches in the way of verse melody.
Chariot song, one of the most interesting layered tracks on the album, with it's ' Queen gate-crashing Black Sabbath meets Beatles-goes Gospel soul party!', a crazy time change of a tune, with a real mixture of styles, ending with a quasi-thrash finish!.
'Lost in Germany', a set-list standard and fan favourite, has an amazing dark electric arpeggio from Ty mid section, and also finishing the song and great harmonies.
'Ooh Song', one of my personal favourites, which has a great spinning heavy chug riff tempo, and ends with it begged to be cranked up loud!.
But 'Junior's Gone Wild' would take the heaviness even further, a nod to their dissolution to religion, a heavier beast, almost reminiscent of something off of Megadeth's Countdown to Exctintion with the chunky riff times. They would go to another level with Dogman. This was as metal as 'Talk to You' from Faith Hope Love, and the King's could do metal, just often more interestingly than other obvious bands from the genre.
'Not Just for the Dead' has another Beatlesque hook, in the way of 'Tomorrow Never Knows' from Revolver, complete with Sitars, showing Ty Tabor's love of the four boys from Manchester. Great comedy ending too!
'What I know about Love' contains one of their funkiest grooviest slow-jams, BIG bass from Dug, and some BIG chord changes from the mighty Ty! A HUGE song, that twists and turns like an evil snail...slow but menacing, and some of the best harmonies. Possibly the best solo I've heard and an amazing tap style by Ty closing the song...
Black flag, the single taken from the album, is as good as they come, more great arpeggios from Ty, great harmonies- great writing and a tune that just begs to be sung to!
'Dream in my Life'- sung by Ty Tabor is a beautiful number, touching chords and a real deep melody, then the change into full rock! I would consider this the ballad of the album, but with a heavy vocal from Dug...
But my utmost favourite has to be 'Silent Wind'. This is possibly one of the greatest songs collectively written by the three guys, and it sends shivers down me. I absolutely love the main riff in this, and it's such a dynamic song, with so much depth and delivered beautifully by Doug.
The album ends, if you wait for it, for a funny outro of laughing and general craziness from the guys, all in a spooky slow speed! I always wack that up for my neighbours waiting for the white coat brigade to take me away!
How this band never became Rock Gods is beyond me. The talent of these guys, on this album, is worth every Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, or any other huge stadium filler acts of their generation.
A much ashamedly underrated act that everyone should know about. If you can convert one person, this album has to be one that captures the whole spirit and meaning of King's X, and a good album to start with, one of their heaviest, and most emotionally charged... Of course, Dogman would move them into much more aggressive 'live-sounding' territory, and see them embracing 1993 with the era of 'grunge', and take the down-tuning and groove from Ty to centre stage.....