Tuesday, May 27, 2008

King's X - Moonlight vs Tones

King's X - Manic Moonlight

ok I have grown to LOVE this album, and the below comments..hell even just THE AMOUNT TO SAY about each song and this record is evidence how good this album is. And to briefly explain, when it came out I didn't even know it did; and then I got it and I was sour on it..it didn't compare to BULBOUS..all Doug songs..groove-slanted. "Skeptical Winds" was just not anything I'd expect from them..it almost sounded lazy and mailed-in. The only track I really enjoyed was "Vegetable" and that was the 1 I played on KFAI at the time.

But, it's funny and awesome how when you go away and then comeback to something how it can completely change your mind. I think maybe part of it was an interview I read in 1 of the Metal-zines around that time with Ty..the interviewer was asking..or maybe telling Ty how he and the fans want them to make another GRETCHEN..and esp Ty's responses were very much about how with GRETCHEN they were able to experiment and be successful at it..but their goal was not to make another GRETCHEN..just to make a new record..a good record but a DIFFERENT record. And I even recall some stuff about how MM was maybe their most experimental but also the band felt they succeeded with it even if the fan reaction wasn't as high as they hoped. But maybe over time it could be..that's all they were hoping and trying to do.

So I dunno when exactly it was before or after that..but I would guess maybe around 2005 or late 2004 I went back to MOONLIGHT and it suddenly clicked. Maybe not as much as it eventually did, but I realized it was more than a 1- or 2 song record.

Fast-fwd..so I find this record one I go back to pretty regularly. The ENERGY and FLOW..the composition and vibe from it. It's a trip..and it's NOT LONG..it's really about the perfect length album..esp for them. It has it's big moments and quieter moments sure..the looping really connects the songs perfectly..and maybe one of the biggest things about it is the fact IT IS DIFFERENT..I hate it when bands get in their comfort zone. If you're an artist and you relax, aren't you just going through the motions?..the changes worked..the experiments and even with Doug doing all the vocals on every track on it doesn't make it bad..in fact it makes it STAND OUT EVEN MORE. And there's NO FILLER..the last track "Water Ceremony" doesn't count..and even gives a brief and ending comic relief.."Skeptical Winds" while still odd..I have grown to like and notice the subtle melody and groove working very well.

Maybe the fact it was a 2nd assessment and a grower enhances it's stature to me..or the fact I just love playing it regularly. BULBOUS I really liked, but this one has reached me maybe even more. And I really don't think it's a coincidence those 2 records came back-2-back.

Believe - great starting, methodical groove sets the tone for the album..it's a different kind of album, but you still can't help get into the vibe..."in yourself..believe it's alright"..upbeat/uplifting/inspiring..has a live feel..funky guitar.."believe in yourself"

Manic Moonlight - love the harmonies in the middle..such great groove

Yeah - more of the looped..almost synth rhythm from the drums..mystical..great vocal doubels and groove from the guitars..music speaks without lyrics.."please forgive me for my attitude..tight groovy rhythm throughout the transitions in this song..very flowing

False Alarm - starts out with hand drums..great melodic guitar part..Dugs vocals are so clean and clear.."guess it was a falllllse al-armmmm"..great..rich use of echoing..ballad.."if I could wave a magic wand"..love the bridge

Static - more opening hand drums..this song has a great build..fucking awesome crescendo..emotional as hell.."i don't want to do this anymore"...I love how they add a rhythm or layer each few bars..much like the row row row your boats gang-vocal thing..err barber/beauty shop..but just with the instruments in this case..or a sustain-pedal
.."give you address I'll send you my life in a jar"...

Skeptical Wind - maybe the weirdest song I ever heard from them at 1st..at least in many years..but I grew to dig this..such a great mystical and groovy vibe here..almost like if you are watching some narrative doc or something.."ride on..skeptical wind"..some great lead bass..telling a story..random observations..poetry..like yours or just THE WIND'S journey, what it sees..its a very unusual mixed song..but in a good way..like the responsive guitar/bass towards the middle..lots of layers you notice after repeated play usually..'ride on ...skeptical winds..ride on..ride on"..

The Other Side - this song jumps out at aggressively you when you don't expect it to..I love how it does that..slower and then right in your face..great dynamics from the guitar..the melody is very king's x..whispered vox allow the music to take the front..another song with effective mixing work

Vegetable - another catchy, flowing, funky song..the hook just floors me..my fav track "if I didn't have a brain, then i couldn't feel no pain".."I would give it all away..give it all away-ayyyyy"..awesome bass-line for the rhythm..i often think about the process of a Lobotomy with the lyrics..also an escape..

Jenna - bluesy..I love the chorus in this one.."i can't wait to see you smile..shining like a diamond"..great vocal distortion

Less is in fact very much more


King's X - Ogre Tones

This album I wanted to like and found myself struggling for reasons to go back to it. That great year of 2005..which even seems greater a few years later with many of my top albums from '05, unheard by my ears. But this one, even when I have occasionally gone back to it, really never has demanded any head turning. It has a few good songs "Freedom" and "Fly" probably being the best, but I even saw them do the whole thing live. It was not in my top KX shows honestly..a lot of it is slower, bluesy, ballads which suppose for what they are, are ok..but they don't rock out and most of them don't even have those great trippy melodies I just love about this band.

Quite sleepy and hit and miss album..very much noticed in my notes..or lack-their-of..I GET BORED with this album. And to be honest, I think it's probably their 2nd worst album aside from the throwback BLACK LIKE SUNDAY. I mean suppose just on paper, if you compare it to TAPEHEAD it's not a heck of a lot different or even EAR CANDY..but I'd say at least with both of those records..the strong songs are quite strong..and they have less boring tracks.

Alone - Energetic.."no one should be made to feel alohhhhn"

Stay - like the little psych harmonic-vox

Hurricane - "yeah just like a hurricane, that's just like a hurricane"..repeated chorus throughout

Fly - good song!..nice vocal harmonies "fly above the rainbow, fly across the sea"..harmonies and groove really work

If - "if i only could move to the middle"

Bebop - experimental.."be bop be alive ya'll"?.."watcha gonna do?"..lot of simpler parts..stripped down

Honesty - ballad..Ty vox..it almost builds well toward the end but doesn't

Open My Eyes - "what does it take to get to the point where you want to kill someone"..minor-key..repetitive

Freedom - good song..from Ear Candy-era..has a good, groovy hook. Ty's vox work "blame it all on god"..nice, tasteful guitar solo..I'll always think of the song by the kx-inspired mn local band "Mojam" "talking about some freedom"

Get Away - slower balldy song "hey god...".."whereeeee..do you gohhhhhhhh" decent vox harmonies "awayyyyyyyy"

Sooner Or Later - another slower bluesy song "no I'm not sad about it"..sounds emotional..introspective..sleepy..slow..meditative..trippy psych guitar section toward the end

Mudd - slow tempo.."you said you were tied..then you want away up into the sky"..Ty's vox harmonies..repetitive chorus over and over

Goldilox (reprise)
nice to bring a classic back..not sure why they did it?..moving to Insideout?

- turntable instruction samples

Some highlights but not without a good chunk of filler


So all these peeps on the boards who keep claiming how bad MOONLIGHT is and how outstanding TONES is...I must belong in some parallel dimension or something because I couldn't view the 2 of them more differently. Maybe down the road some more people will surface..and ya know if TONES does click with me 1 day, cool..but to dismiss how incredible of a work MOONLIGHT is..I wonder if those people had and still have pre-conceived ideas or expectations about the band which when that happens, I sorta feel sad. But hopefully I'm wrong.

I'll add though, some people like MM..and the response to XV is pretty good..but the comments I mention above seem to find their way into a lot of these discussions about XV even.

For me, XV is the 1st challenger to MM this decade and maybe even since the Sam Taylor-period. However, if it doesn't get more of a push for AOY, I dunno how I'll be able to regard it better or even quite at MM's level. MOONLIGHT is basically flawless, whereas XV still has a small chunk of stuff I could do without. But it's great to see them put out a record that even belongs in that discussion.

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