Complete studio albums (and more!), part 3
KING’S X – Kings of the Absurd (split 1990 Metal Crash live bootleg with Faith No More)
Live bootlegs vary in quality, but usually have one thing in common: they are almost always interesting. Kings of the Absurd, a split live bootleg from Italy, raises a curious question.
Why put Faith No More and King’s X together on one CD?
The King’s X set is from London at the Astoria; Faith No More’s from a festival set in Italy many months later. It’s an odd pairing, with no common musical denominator. If anything, both bands share critical acclaim, but that’s about it. Why are they together on one CD?
Absolutely no reason.
The Faith No More portion of this CD will be reviewed at a later time, probably as part of a Faith No More review series. For now we’ll just examine the four songs presented by King’s X, which, believe me, are enough to melt your face off without the help of Mike Patton and co. I found this CD in the racks of the used CD store in which I started working, in early 1995. Loving both bands, and stickered at just $11.99, this was an easy winner once you figured in my staff discount. I was just lucky to have snagged it before Thomas, also a massive Faith No More and King’s X fan.
“What is This?” is the only song lifted from their debut album Out of the Silent Planet. The original set was 10 songs, and this was the second, but it works as an opener as well. The heavy groove and the slick backing vocals of Ty Tabor and Jerry Gaskill are intact. Doug is more impassioned live than on album, which is the way it is with any good soul singer. Doug’s take on “What is This?” is very different from the album; he just lets the vocal come out as it does. Even on this crappy sounding CD, you can hear that the bass is hella-heavy, and that Jerry Gaskill is one of the most underrated drummers you will ever lay ears on.
Doug addresses the crowd between songs. “We’re going to try to do almost everything that we know tonight for you,” he teases, with no idea that these words would end up on a live bootleg with only four songs! Next (and the next song played that night) is “Out of the Silent Planet” from their then-current Gretchen Goes to Nebraska album. The complexity of the backing vocals doesn’t seem to present them a problem. It’s clear that this is one hell of a trio, as if you were in any doubt. The CD doesn’t have “Sometimes”, the next song played, but instead goes to “Summerland”, also from Gretchen. The poor sound hampers the song slightly, since it’s lighter and doesn’t slam as hard as the others. Doug is again outstanding, not only one of the greatest singers in rock but also a top notch bassist. “Fall On Me” (Gretchen) ends this short set. It was a great song on album, but live it’s just as amazing. Doug’s lungs sound as if diesel-powered.
The fact that King’s X only got tacked onto the end of a Faith No More bootleg CD is sadly not unexpected. They got boned by the music business, so why not by bootleggers too? The whole set is out there, and it sounds like an amazing show. Just check out this article and the comments section, over at our friends Every Record Tells a Story. A few readers were there that night.
You gotta give King’s X a 5/5 stars for a set this hot, but Metal Crash get 0/5 stars for the CD
KING’S X review series:
Part 1 – Out of the Silent Planet
Part 2 – Gretchen Goes to Nebraska