Album Review — King’s X
King’s X — Three Sides of One
Fourteen years. It’s been fourteen years since King’s X released a new record. Each of the members have been active, especially Dug Pinnick and Ty Tabor. And they have toured fairly consistently over the years. But 2008 was the last time the band released a record of new material.
For the most part, this sounds like a King’s X record but there are some differences. The vocal duties are more shared on this record than on any record in their catalogue. Ty sings lead on 3 songs which isn’t overly abnormal. But Jerry also sings lead on 3 songs which is the first time that I can think of that he has taken lead vocal on more than one song in the history of the band.
Fourteen years is too long to wait for one of your favorite bands to release a record. The anticipation has been building and the expectations are unattainable at this point. But I’ve had almost two weeks with this record so it’s time to put my thoughts together track by track.
“Let It Rain” — Not a lot of this record is predictable, but a hard rocking Dug song to start the record was always a pretty good guess and that’s what we get. Other than the Zeppelin-y guitar riff between verses this is a very King’s X sounding track in both style and content. A good start.
“Flood Pt. 1” — This is an odd one. And not just from the title as there is no Pt. 2 on this record at least. Dug takes the lead on this one and it’s heavy to start but it slows down in the verses. We do get those classic King’s X harmonies and I’ve warmed to the song over time but as much as the first track was vintage King’s X, this one is very different.
“Nothing But The Truth” — This is another Dug lead that’s a little slower and very classic sounding for the band. I’ve always loved the band’s approach to their lyrics and that continues on this record. The highlight of the track is the extended guitar solo at the end of the song. It’s some of Ty’s finest work to date and extends the track to over six minutes. The solo alone puts this track to the top of the list.
“Give It Up” — Another rock track with Dug on lead. At this point on the first time through the album is taking shape mostly as expected with Dug taking lead on the first four tracks. There’s plenty to like here for longtime fans of the band.
“All God’s Children” — Ty’s first lead vocal is a memorable one. In my view, Ty is the tone setter for the band. You basically know what you’re going to get from Dug but Ty tends to tip the feel of the record with his tracks as he does with this record. Without getting too much into the lyrical content, Ty doesn’t hold back with his critiques of the world around him. It’s a dark track that’s brilliantly executed. For me, Ty Tabor is the star of this record with both his playing and his songwriting.
“Take The Time” — On this record it’s Jerry that provides the uplifting reprieve that’s much needed on this darker record. Jerry has overcome some major health issues and the feel I get from his tracks are very positive. This track doesn’t sound a lot like King’s X but it’s a good track.
“Festival” — Back to another Ty track and this one rocks. Dug provides callback vocals at times that really work. I’m very curious as to what this song is about. It sounds very sarcastic with its lyric “what’s the worst maybe somebody dies”. Love it.
“Swipe Up” — Dug is back on lead for the heavier “Swipe Up”. It’s closer to the classic heavier sound of the band. It’s good, just not one of my favorites.
“Holidays” — Jerry is back on lead on another track that doesn’t really sound a lot like King’s X but it’s a solid track. I love that the band featured Jerry on multiple tracks even if it doesn’t sound like what we are used to.
“Watcher” — The last Ty track on the record sounds like an older King’s X song from one of the first records. The three Ty songs are my favorite three from the record but they all sound quite different from each other. I really like that the band explores their earlier sound with this one.
“She Called Me Home” — Jerry’s final track is my favorite of his three songs on the record. It’s the most classic sounding of the three tracks, I could almost hear Ty singing this one.
“Every Everywhere” — Dug takes the lead on the final track although we get a lot of the harmonies that the band is known for on this mid tempo closer.
After fourteen years it’s hard to predict what a band will do. It would be impossible for the band to meet fourteen years of expectations but I love that the band mostly stayed true to who they are and that this record really does show that there are three sides to this one band.
I think the Ty songs are the highlights of the record but I think each listener will gravitate toward the songs they like. I believe fans of the band will be happy with this record and not just because it’s been so long in the making. It may take a few listens to get over all the anticipation and expectation like it did for me but it’s well worth it.
Welcome back, King’x X. Let’s not wait another 14 years for the next record.
90 out of 100
01. Let It Rain (04:28) *
02. Flood Pt. 1 (03:03)
03. Nothing But The Truth (06:03) *
04. Give It Up (02:59)
05. All God’s Children (05:32) *
06. Take The Time (03:45)
07. Festival (03:30) *
08. Swipe Up (03:46)
09. Holidays (03:22)
10. Watcher (03:43) *
11. She Called Me Home (03:57)
12. Every Everywhere (02:40)