Review by Paul Monkhouse for MPM
It could be said that the inability to lazily pigeonhole Kings X has been a barrier to them getting beyond their much-lauded cult status, the mainstream unaware of how to fully categorise them.
With their crunching rhythms, big riffs and grand harmonies that owe more to The Beatles than to Metallica, these purveyors of intelligent yet accessible hard rock are rulers of their own wonderous land, with only Galactic Cowboys sharing kinship with them.
After a fourteen-year recording gap, the Missouri trio unleash this, their thirteenth, full length opus and it’s a joy to behold.
Full of the touchstones that have won them legions of devoted fans, Kings X show that, despite the intervening years, they’ve certainly not lost the fire or verve that they showed on debut ‘Out of the Silent Planet’ onwards. Over the dozen tracks that make the album up, the band know how to rock, soothe and groove.
From the big Led Zep dynamics of big, bold opener ‘Let It Rain’ and into the Electric Light Orchestra grandeur meets abrasive riffing of ‘Flood Part 1’, this is a statement of intent writ large.
Not only is vocalist/bass player Dug Pinnock firing on all cylinders, his soulful voice enough to destroy city blocks or make angels weep in the turn of a phrase, but the slamming drums of Jerry Gaskill and the cascading fretwork of Ty Tabor have all come together in a kaleidoscopic maelstrom that thrills and rages in equal measure.
Highlights are many and the textures woven throughout ‘Three Sides of One’ a constantly shifting tapestry. Whether it’s the blues soaked ‘Nothing but the Truth’, which features one of Tabor’s greatest solos to date, the beguiling twists of ‘All Gods Children’ or the Rush meets Supertramp heavy prog of ‘Watcher’, there’s always something to cherish.
Any band who can go from the pastoral orchestration of ‘Take the Time’ to the New Wave Punk feel in ‘Festival’ without breaking a sweat or jarring demands the
All imbued with their unique take on rock and metal, Kings X should be lauded far and wide, selling out arenas and stadiums. We should maybe be thankful they aren’t filling the vast domes of the world though, the intimacy they bring to the core and detail of what they bring potentially lost into the air.
Still, if lesser bands can attract tens of thousands to these huge shows then maybe Kings X should be given the chance too. One thing you can be certain of is that Messrs Pinnock, Gaskill and Tabor will never compromise, no matter what, their uniqueness a heady explosion of artistic creativity.
For those discovering them for the first time, this new album is a good place to start, the wonders of their shimmering back catalogue a tantalising promise of pleasures yet to be discovered.
Was it worth the huge wait for ‘Three Sides of One’? The answer is an Earth-shattering “yes!”. Kings X are back and the world’s a better place because of it.
The full track-listing is as follows:
1. Let It Rain 04:28
2. Flood Pt. 1 03:03
3. Nothing But The Truth 06:03
4. Give It Up 02:59
5. All God’s Children 05:32
6. Take The Time 03:45
7. Festival 03:30
8. Swipe Up 03:46
9. Holidays 03:22
10. Watcher 03:43
11. She Called Me Home 03:57
12. Every Everywhere 02:40
Taken from the album ‘Three Sides of One’. Order here: https://kingsx.lnk.to/ThreeSidesOfOneID