Album Review: The King Blues – Punk And Poetry
The King Blues were a six piece punk outfit who blended elements of rap, folk, punk and ska to create some of the most inspiring music I’ve ever heard. I hope to get their new and final album and when I do I can go into the frankly disappointing, hypocritical reasons the band broke up but for now I’ll refrain. The King Blues are well known for being one of the most politically, morally strong bands in the scene (even more so than Enter Shikari). The band will be remembered for getting a whole generation into politics again and have given birth to a new wave of punks.
Album opener Last of the Dreamer sounds like a rap song. Whilst lead singer Jonny “Itch” Fox dedicates the track to different outcasts a beat/orchestra mash up plays in the background. Fans of the album can look back on 2011 and find the album to be prophetic. We Are F*****g Angry is a soundtrack to the student protests. The lyrics mention greedy bankers and rising up. Set the World On Fire is scarily prophetic. The lyrics are about burning down the world due to the greediness of the government, and the twisted morals of corporations. Looking at the events of the London Riots it’s scary how well the band read the mood of the people at the time.
5 Bottles of Shampoo is one of the tracks that focuses on morals rather than politics. The track deals with women’s rights and how they’re life givers yet all men treat them poorly. “Down with the man who thinks it’s all right to give his wife a drunk, down with the judge who said it weren’t rape because she was drunk”. The track is inspiring with an awesome trumpet drum arrangement playing in the background. Sex Education deals with the state of kids these days and their attitude to sex; how they learn it all from pornography and end up treating each other badly because of it. Shooting Fascists is a weird one. Playing a soft Ukulele whilst Itch softly croons “Granddad didn’t vote for fascists he shot ’em down”, this is a track about not letting the sacrifice of those who fought in WWII be forgotten. Headbutt is the most conventional punk track. Distorted riffs, simple drums and organs make up the backing whilst Itch sings about a girl whose kiss “felt like a headbutt”. Everything Happens for a Reason is a personal track about Itch becoming a father. He tells the tale of meeting the girl, getting pregnant and realising he’d become a man when his son was born. The riff is soft, the drums slightly chaotic with a soothing keyboard over the top give it a sense of a lullaby.
The King Blues were one of the most socially relevant modern bands that ever existed and it’s a massive blow that they’ve broken up. I give the album 8 out of 10. It’s heartfelt, genuine, desperate and above all relevant.