Thursday, November 18, 2010

King's X - Gretchen Goes To Nebraska (1989)

Formed during the early 80's in Springfield, Missouri during the height of the New Wave and Hair Metal crazes, King's X occupy a unique loft in the world of music with their gospel laden brand of funk-metal. And nowhere will a new listener find a better place to start with this group than 1989's sophomore smash Gretchen Goes To Nebraska.

Along with their 1990 followup Faith Hope Love, this album shows off King's X in peak conceptual and technical form, and is considered to be one of their most creative releases by fans and non-fans alike. Especially the first half of the record! Take opening number 'Out Of The Silent Planet' for instance: a sitar leads into the dual lead vocals of Ty Tabor and Doug Pinnick that skitter like a dirge across the main riff, while drummer Jerry Gaskill weaves his drum in vagrant, psychedelic tumbles, resulting in a magnificent song. Other highlights include the call-and-response MTV headbanger 'Over My Head' and the mystic but doom driven 'Pleiades', but theres nary a bad composition in earshot here.

King's X are a band that don't click with a large majority of people, which is very unfortunate I think. They aren't metal enough in places for the ADD kids and they aren't always blatantly experimental enough for the connoisseurs either. But what they lack in labelity is made up in spades by their incorporation of blues, gospel, funk and Beatle-esque power pop into normally predictable riff festivals. A true original among counterfeits I'd say!

Listen Here - "The Difference (In the Garden of St. Anne's-on-the-Hill)"

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