Razor & Tie (label)
15 April 2014 (released)
20 April 2014
Hailing from South California and being on the same label as the ‘Uncrowned New Kings of Stoner Rock’ The Sword, you may go into listening to this new Kyng album with a preconceived idea of what you’re about to listen to. In some respect, you’d be right in thinking it will be a tribute to all things Sabbath and latterly Kyuss but that tells maybe half the story.
This is a band definitely not afraid to pay respect to their influences. Indeed, there’s elements of their labelmates The Sword throughout this record, paying homage to the heavy metal and stoner scenes that started in Birmingham, England and the South Californian desert respectively. But they are more than just a Sabbath rip-off. Vocalist/guitarist Eddie Veliz taps into his inner Chris Cornell on ‘Lost One’ and if you close your eyes, you could imagine you’re listening to Myles Kennedy and Alter Bridge on ‘Electric Halo’. If anything, this is a hark back to the late 80s and early 90s grunge era, channelling Soundgarden in musical tone.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with aping one of the greatest hard rock bands of all time, or in the case of Kyng, five or six great bands, but this is where the album falls down slightly. If someone were to play you the album without telling you who had recorded it, you may very well pull a few names out of the hat – most likely Soundgarden, Alter Bridge, Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age to mention a few. There is nothing particularly new or innovative on the album, and this could work to the band’s detriment. Everything that you hear has been done before. Of course, the aforementioned bands have themselves found they must carry on evolving, sometimes to the obvious chagrin of their fans. What Kyng do very well is tap the well on what their influences might sound like if they hadn’t decided to change direction and ‘mature’ their sound, and sometimes, this is exactly what you want to hear.
Kyng appear to have learned from the many bands they’ve toured with, including the aforementioned Sword, Black Stone Cherry and Clutch to name a few. With the release of this, their sophomore album, there should be more opportunities and more bands to tour with and learn from, which means their third album should be amazing. This is a good album by a potentially great band. Check it out.