Album Review: The King Blues – Punk & Poetry

By on Wednesday, 20th April 2011 at 2:00 pm
 

A lot has changed since 2008 when the King Blues released their second LP, ‘Save The World, Get The Girl’. The country is now ruled by a new coalition government, student fees are at the dizzying amount of £9000 a year,and next month, the whole way we vote as a country could change. These events have led to the King Blues writing the passionate, and at times angry album, ‘Punk & Poetry’.

Whilst the country was slowly falling apart due to new governments, bankers, MP’s expenses and cuts to services, the King Blues were going through a transformation of their own. Band members Fruitbag, Jim Parmley, Johnny Rich and Al Gunby all left the punk rock outfit last year. They were also dropped from record label Field Recordings. However, the band quickly found new members and were signed to Transmission Recordings. All of these instances have ultimately led to the new record.

Despite consisting of 12 tracks, the album is only half an hour long. With no track breaking the 4-minute barrier and a number of sub-minute interludes, the LP is an angst filled journey through lead singer Itch’s subconscious. Whether it’s about taking down the government, his wife falling pregnant or internet porn, Itch’s lyrics are the backbone to the album.

Opening with ‘The Last Of The Dreamers’, Itch dedicates the album to practically everyone, including soldiers, babies and outcasts. This then fades into the very punk ‘We Are Fucking Angry’. The first political anthem on this anti-establishment record, it’s almost been crafted to be screamed live by thousands of hungry fans. The song, at times, moves into the world of reggae which provides welcome relief and the fulfills any desire you may have to skank.

Quickly following this is the current single, ‘Set The World On Fire’. Not as heavy as the previous track but still with a message behind it. It’s slightly more radio-friendly but is still charged with negativity toward the government with such lyrics as “I wanna set the world on fire!” and “I only followed the mob to lynch the Prime Minister”. The song is almost infectious in its catchiness and will stick with you all day, which is what makes the song a perfect single.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLnKKkglQr0[/youtube]

The King Blues have managed to harness the power of writing catchy songs for the majority of the album. Songs such as ‘I Want You’ and ‘Does Anybody Care About Us?’ at times feel like pop hits until you hear Itch’s unique voice and the underlying ska-punk element.

The lyrics, though, are what make this album so interesting. The music is a mesh of hardcore punk, ska, reggae and pop-punk from start to finish, but it’s Itch’s way with words which lifts this album above other politically-focused albums. Itch is known for his poetry and spoken-word performances, so his command of the English language leads to some fantastic lyrics, packed with pop-culture references. The track ‘Sex Education’ is possibly the first punk song to reference the infamous Two Girls One Cup video, and ‘I Want You’ even mentions Robson and Jerome.

The album ends on more of an emotional note. Despite the King Blues being the voice of the politically active youth, life means more to them than fighting the system. ‘Everything Happens For A Reason’ is a much slower song compared to the rest of the album and strays away from talk of the government. Based around the idea of fate, the song is about how you can’t control what happens in your life, it also mentions Itch’s wife falling pregnant last year. It’s the gratuitous ballad that every album needs, except this one is so chilled and emotive it’s a heart-warming way to end a record which started by getting the blood pumping. Overall, ‘Punk & Poetry’ is a journey, one which you need to take over and over again.

9/10

‘Punk & Poetry’ is out now.

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One Response

2:15 pm
15th June 2011

I couldn’t agree more.
They put so much into their shows too.
Amazing band.

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