Sunday, April 21, 2024

Kings X – Three Sides Of One

Kings X are one of those bands who appear to have been around forever, which is basically because they have, beginning their active life in the late seventies. And like other influential three-piece bands, such as ZZ Top and the mighty Rush (who can both trace their lineage back to the seventies) they can testify to many pulsating gigs along the way, as well as landmark albums like Gretchen Goes To Nebraska.

Three Sides Of One is their first new music since 2008’s XV which, along with previous album Ogre Tones, was felt to be a welcome return to form after a run of albums which were deemed to be mediocre when compared against some of their previous works. So, even with health issues along the way, why fourteen years to come up with a new album? Bassman and vocalist Dug Pinnock said; “we didn’t want to make an album until we knew our fans would love it. It took us a while but we got there.

Kings X are occasionally lumped in with Prog but, for this reviewer, I don’t see it. Their music is more hard-edged rock, with some good hooks and rooted in blues, with the judicious usage of the occasional soft melodic harmonies, as befitting their Beatles influence. They’re not particularly ground-breaking or too radically different from other similar bands but, down the years (and there’ve been lots of them) they’ve evolved their own particular style which’s earned them a loyal following.

Fourteen years away has done nothing to dull their chops. ‘Flood pt1‘ has a power metal intro and a riff to bludgeon the senses whereas the upbeat ‘Festival’, about a plan to “hold a festival we can all come to” singing “..what’s the worst thing, somebody dies ..” is almost ‘punkish.’ The lyrics to the swaggering groove running through the bluesy ‘Give It Up’ were inspired by Chris Cornell’s suicide. On ‘Pinnock’ they say that “lyrically it’s about not giving up until you die naturally”. 

‘All God’s Children’ begins with a dreamy clean guitar melody before a trudging groove kicks in, and is a song taking a swipe at those who refer to themselves as Christians but who believe in many non-Christian things. ‘She Called Me Home’ is a song about recovery when Dug Pinnock (after almost dying) had to relearn many things, including playing the guitar. The album ends with ‘Every Everywhere’, with superb Beatlesy harmonies and a last word which states “The world’s crying out for love every everywhere”. In 2022 who could deny this?

Kings X have achieved the very rare feat of being liked by fans from most rock genres, from straight-ahead rock to thrash to grunge. They’ve more than earned the right to do whatever it is they want, and Three Sides Of One is probably as good an album as Kings X are capable of at this time.

Three Sides of One will be released 2nd September 2022.

Laurence Todd
Laurence Todd
Took early retirement after many years as a teacher in order to write books as well as about music. A long-time music obsessive, has wide and eclectic tastes but particularly likes prog rock and rock in general. Enjoys going to gigs and discovering new acts.

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Kings X are one of those bands who appear to have been around forever, which is basically because they have, beginning their active life in the late seventies. And like other influential three-piece bands, such as ZZ Top and the mighty Rush (who can...Kings X - Three Sides Of One