Significant debuts in history have either been the results of a revolutionary approach (Korn, for example) or a smart evolution of familiar sounds (e.g., Guns ‘n’ Roses). Kyng falls squarely in the latter category. In fact, there is nothing on Trampled Sun that you haven’t heard in some sort of incarnation before, but the way Kyng brings those sounds together is both new, yet familiar.
Musically, I could build a list of bands that is pages long that Kyng clearly sound like. To keep is simple, though, picture Fu Manchu and Kyuss at a Badmotorfinger-era Soundgarden concert. And while there is plenty of sludge to the sound, Kyng never lingers too long in the slower dirge-like tempo range for too long, because there is a there is an unmistakable punk-like “raise your middle finger to the sky” mentality that weaves itself throughout Trampled Sun. In many ways, Kyng is a band that rock has needed for a long time; it’s pure unabashed energy that combines the elements of just about every major rock genre of the last 40 years.
Vocally, rock fans will appreciate Eddie Veliz’s voice. It’s the perfect blend between Chris Cornell and former Systematic frontman, Tim Narducci. That means plenty of power and range, in case you are keeping score at home.
We’ve spent some time covering how Kyng is similar to other bands, but there are some key differences.
For starters, one of the things that sets Kyng apart from other “stoner rock” bands, for lack of a better term, is the precision of their playing. While most other bands of that genre languish in the pocket, sliding in and out of notes with a laziness that adds to their charm, Kyng’s riffing is razor sharp, showing that they learned as many lessons from Pantera as they did from Black Sabbath.
What is perhaps most impressive, however, is that amidst this raging slab of molten rock and roll, there are incredible dynamics. From the high-octane rager “Pushing & Pulling” to the Pantera-style ass-stomper “I Don’t Believe”, there is plenty of aggression for your inner headbanger. The pleasant surprises, though, come when they pause a little and slow down. It doesn’t happen often, but songs like “The Roses” and “The Beauty of the End” prove that Kyng is more than a riff factory. Indeed the chord work on these songs shows a depth reminiscent of Stone Temple Pilots or Ziggy-era Bowie. And as soon as you can say, “Ah, that’s nice,” Kyng has put it back in gear like an out of control semi headed right for your brain.
The future looks bright, if not somewhat limited, for Kyng. It’s limited in the same way that bands like Corrosion of Conformity or King’s X were limited; they weren’t commercial enough to break through to the level of, say, Stone Temple Pilots. Still, like COC or King’s X, they have the substance to earn the respect of not only their peers, but people who genuinely love rock and roll, beyond just whatever is on the radio. One listen, however, and you realize that Kyng is going to be who they are — sink or swim,and that is part of the excitement with a new band that has yet to be tested.
Trampled Sun drops on September 27th.