First Reaction: King 810
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 08:45:13
Things need to change in heavy music.
That's a fact. The genre has become a sea of sub-genres and trends with countless, faceless artists ready to tear each other apart for some shard of success, whether it's "Facebook" supremacy, album sales, or concert tickets. There's no band that's emerged to headline arenas in the past five years. There's no band with a statement that touched millions of people. There's no band with the heart to do something different. Instead, everybody's too afraid, dumbing heavy music down and making it more generic with each pass. Flint, Michigan's King 810 arrive to change all that with their full-length debut Memoirs of a Murderer.
There hasn't been a heavy album with a narrative this expertly woven since Marilyn Manson's Antichrist Superstar. Hopefully, it will exert that sort of effect too. It certainly possesses the power too. Moreover, there hasn't been a debut this cathartic and fiery since Slipknot's self-titled masterpiece. In many ways though, just for comparison's sake, Memoirs of a Murderer shares the most in common with Nine Inch Nails' The Downward Spiral. It's a concept album of destruction, sex, and rebirth in blood that's as potent as anything on the big screen. Not to digress though, none of these comparisons adequately do Memoirs of a Murderer justice. If you're a newcomer, hopefully, you get the weight of this record though. This is an animal of its own. It's uncaged now and ready to start a revolution.
16 diverse and dynamic tracks comprise the journey at the heart of Memoirs of a Murderer. Tracks like "Killem All" and "Fat Around The Heart" offer distinct polyrhythmic grooves and intricate riffs that border on industrial, stomping with a bludgeoning mechanical angst bigger than any of Flint's abandoned factories. At the same time, "treading and trodden" sways from pure darkness into a sexual longing that's both haunting and hypnotic as singer David K. Gunn intones, "I'm looking for a best friend" and "I'm hanging out with dead men". "Murder Murder Murder" subsides into a chilling break where Gunn announces, "I sit around and wonder why everything that I touch dies". Every word succinctly cuts, especially during his poetic spoken word passages "anatomy 1:2" and "anatomy 1:3". He equally channels Edgar Allan Poe, Ernest Hemingway, and 2Pac's Me Against the World, and that's the real brilliance here.
Of course, heavy tracks like "War Outside" and "Carve My Name" exert a Vulgar Display of Power on par with the greats. Yet, it's the acoustic moments that hit the hardest. "eyes" opens an entrancing and emotional vignette, while "Take It" engages a voodoo sway that somehow fits right in within Flint. "Devil Don't Cry" could bring a tear to Johnny Cash's eye, while "Write About Us" remains the standout. Specters of the city plead for remembrance in Gunn's poetry as he lists the names of those who helped shape his path. It's heartbreaking and incredible...
Everything leads into "State Of Nature" where Gunn examines our plight as mankind and everything fades to black over one last pleading refrain.
You have to experience it for yourself though. Like all those great records we mentioned, you will be affected and hopefully music at large will be. We need KING 810.
What do you think of KING 810?
Due August 19th from Roadrunner, pre-order Memoirs of a Murderer on the band's official store here or on iTunes here!
See our feature on their proem EP here!