To Kill A King

To Kill A King

Written by: HES on 06/03/2015 09:40:53

To Kill A King's self-titled album has been one of the releases I have been looking forward to the most in this first quarter of the new year. The band made themselves noticed during a Bastille gig where they completely stole my attention, but if the mention of pop-powerhouse Bastille almost scared you away with its mainstream appeal - don't judge To Kill A King by its company. To Kill A King is everything but a mainstream band, demanding almost too much from their listener with complex musical constructions and clever use of instruments. The sound on the new album is still leaning towards the above, but where the previous album was introvert and shy, hiding in its intricacy, this new release is extrovert and flamboyant in demanding attention by its grandiosity and almost sarcastic positivity.

Lyrically, To Kill A King is back on the same track: self defeating, bitter and provocative. But the musical line has made more use of rhythm and immediate impact on songs like "Good Times - A Rake's Progress" and "Today", with its blue grassy notes and lyrics about throwing your phone away, are uneven pearls on an overall happier string. "Oh My Love" makes use of "She's A Rainbow"-like (an early song by The Rolling Stones) mocking and childish falsetto choir, as lead singer Ralph Pelleymounter completely slays the drum-heavy chorus with the lines, "Oh my love, we're destined to demise" in his bluesy, dry styling - backed by several horns as though some Mexican funeral parade. These grips, mixing melancholy with a twist of rhythmically uplifting composition, are why I'd still consider To Kill A King to be destined for great things.

Unfortunately, the album also has a couple of songs that just slip unimpressively out in the aether like air out of an already lax balloon. The single "Love Is Not Control" just kind of continues on its tracks like a mildly interesting freight train. Same goes for the very similar "Friends", which in many ways is cut from the same cloth with a massing chorus with no real appeal. During these tracks I dream myself back to the band's former tracks, the goosebump-spreadingly grand ballad "Howling" or the symphonic "I Work Nights and You Work Days". It seems that the new sound doesn't allow for the quiet beauty that I used to expect from the band. This, the newest release, is not bad; it's merely different - but some of the essential trademarks (at least to this scribe) have vanished and have not been replaced by material of consequently brilliant standards. Unfortunately that makes this self-titled below standard for this band in particular, but still way above the general average.

Download: Good Times - A Rake’s Progress, Today, Oh My Love
For the fans of: The National, Frightened Rabbit, Ben Gibbard
Listen: Facebook

Release date 02.03.2015
Banquet Records

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