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Non-Prog CD Reviews

King's X

XV

Review by Gary Hill

The latest disc from King’s X, this is no real shocker, but quality material. It’s focused on their usual blend of catchy, yet unusual arrangements of hard rocking music. This is a strong disc, but you really don’t expect anything else from these guys.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Pray
A killer, rather funky, leads this off. The group pound out in a metallic format that has a lot in common with Rush. They drop it back for the verse to something stripped down. The vocals somehow make me think a bit of Jethro Tull. They work this one through with variants and expansions on the themes.
Blue
This comes in heavy but melodic. It’s catchy and pretty cool. They through in some intriguing changes and neo-prog stylings, but still manage to keep it accessible. This is quite tasty.
Repeating Myself
Here they take on a more balladic motif, but they still manage to turbocharge it here and there. Far more firmly set in a neo-prog mode, this one shares some ground with modern Marillion and Porcupine Tree. It’s another great tune.

Rocket Ship
As this one pounds in it feels more like Rush. They turn it towards more brutal metal for the verse, but yet the vocals are still melodic. The chorus to this is quite catchy.

Julie
Starting with acoustic guitar, they power this up, but that instrument remains pretty much throughout. Some of the vocals on this remind me a bit of Tom Petty. We get a Rush-like harder edged segment and we also get a killer vocal arrangement on the outro.

Alright
This is heavier, feeling like Alice in Chains meets Jethro Tull to me. It’s a strong tune, but perhaps a bit less than some of the other material here.
Broke
Here we get a bouncy little bluesy jam. They pound it out later with a classic alternative rock motif. This is another powerhouse jam on a disc that’s full of them.
I Just Want To Live
More melodic, this one feels just a touch like emo. It’s got a healthy dose of Foo Fighters in the mix, too. The mellow segment on this one is a little quirky, but also quite cool.
Move
The rhythm section on the verse here is rather prog-like, but the other sounds are more in an alternative rock motif. We get a harder-edged, Rush-like chorus.
I Don't Know
This is another slab of typical King’s X. It’s catchy and yet quirky.
Stuck
At times this one reminds me a bit of Guns N Roses. At other points I hear Living Colour. Either way, it’s another cool rocker.
Gp Tell Somebody
This almost reminds me of some killer modern blues. Still, it’s given a hard rock King’s X treatment. This has some killer guitar work and the powerhouse instrumental break just plain smokes.
Love and Rockets (Hell's Screaming) Bonus Track
This is cool rocker with a heavy modern sound. The bridge on this one is especially tasty, as is the vocal arrangement.

No Lie Bonus Track
After a declaration that, “I’ve never sung this song before,” we get a hard edged blues jam.
 
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