king’s x

REVIEW: King’s X – “A Box” (1996 CD single)

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Complete studio albums (and more!), part 8.5


KING’S X – “A Box” (1996 Warner Germany CD single)

In 2022, the “King’s” are returning, so today let us look back on some of their fine 90s output.  1996 was the year of Ear Candy, the progressive giants’ most commercially accessible album to date.  It was produced by Canadian Arnold Lanni (ex-Frozen Ghost, Sheriff) and the songs were straightforward and hook-based compared to what came before and after.

Last year, we curated some King’s X lists with Martin Popoff right here, and he rated the single “A Box” in his top five.  The version included on this single is an edit, over a minute shorter than the album cut, with the cut material being mostly outro.  Dug Pinnick is always passionate but you can really feel him on “A Box”.  “There is no room inside a box,” goes the chorus, and one has to wonder if this box is one to break out of, to retreat to, or both.  The song gives voice to loneliness and anger, but also sings of “a place to run and hide, just a place to free your mind.”  It is a ballad with strong lyrics, unforgettable melody, Ty Tabor’s signature guitar glow, and an absolutely wicked Jerry Gaskill drum sound, thanks to the magical knob-twiddling touch of Arnold Lanni.

One album cut is included, which is “Looking For Love” from Ear Candy, another one of its strongest tunes.  This one smokes of anger and frustration.  It also contains the key lyric, “I guess I lost my faith,” which is true.  Dug was once Christian but left the church around Dogman.  Yet it’s also melodically one of the strongest songs, which helps back up that killer Ty Tabor riff.

The non-album B-side is a rarity called “Freedom”.  Unlike the album which was recorded with Lanni in California, “Freedom” came from a self-produced session in Houston.  Sonically it does not fit with the boldly in-your-face Ear Candy, but it does offer another Ty Tabor lead vocal.  It’s a bit more sparse and hard-hitting, but still boasts the patented King’s X harmony vocals on the chorus.  There’s a cool melody buried in the outro too.  Overall, it is not as strong as Ear Candy as a whole, but as a bonus track, it’s more than adequate.  Ty’s singing will be the highlight for many fans as he really goes for it.

Great single, and thank you Martin Popoff for inspiring the purchase.

4.5/5 stars

KING’S X review series:

Part 1 – Out of the Silent Planet (1988)
Part 2 – Gretchen Goes to Nebraska (1989)
Part 3 – Kings of the Absurd (split bootleg with Faith No More)
Part 4 – Faith Hope Love by King’s X (1990)
Part 5 – “Junior’s Gone Wild” (from 1991’s Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey soundtrack)
Part 6 – King’s X (1992)
Part 7 – Dogman (1994) + bonus “Pillow” promo single review
Part 8 – Ear Candy (1996)
Part 8.5 – “A Box” (1996 CD single)
Part 9 – Best of King’s X (1997)
Part 10 – Tape Head (1998)
Part 11 – POUNDHOUND – Massive Grooves from the Church of Psychofunkadelic Grungelism Rock Music (1998 Doug Pinnick/Jerry Gaskill)
Part 12 – Please Come Home…Mr. Bulbous (2000)
Part 13 – PLATYPUS – Ice Cycles (2000 Ty Tabor)
Part 14 – Manic Moonlight (2001)
Part 15 – Black Like Sunday (2003)
Part 16 – Ogre Tones (2005)
Part 17 – XV (2008)

VIDEO: Mail Call! 6 CDs from Robert

I thought these six CDs had been lost in the mail. I am so, so glad to be wrong.

WTF Comments: D-Funk edition

Always a pleasure when a celebrity comes down to read my stuff!  (Remember when Kenny Hotz wasn’t keen on my Kenny Vs. Spenny Season 6 review?)  Hip-hop producer David “D-Funk” Faulk is the latest to stumble upon my writing.  David “D-Funk” Faulk is a King’s X fan.  David “D-Funk” Faulk did not like my review of the King’s X B-side “Junior’s Gone Wild”, as you can see for yourself.

You’re nuts. “Junior’s Gone Wild” kicks fkng ass! As great as anything they’ve ever done. Loved it the first time I heard it and still love it today. The whole critiquing songs is such a dumb thing to do anyway because it’s simply showing one’s desperation to tell others how they should hear the song. If you don’t like it, fine. Don’t listen. Some people love Anne Murray. Some love Frank Zappa. Some love Milli Vanilli or Lil Wayne. It’s so stupid sitting there writing, “Duhh, I think the third verse should have been shorter and the guitar riff is too similar to one of the guitarist’s other songs. How dare he have a style and play anything that sounds like himself!”. blah blah fkn blah. If you can do better, let’s hear it. Critics are the absolute worst.

Thanks, D-Funk!  I never said any of that.  Should I be flattered that he thought I was a critic?  I think so.  I’m going to start referring to myself as “famed critic”.

My response to him went like this:

Here’s what bugs me the most about this dill-hole.

“If you don’t like it, fine. Don’t listen.”

SAME GOES FOR YOU, PAL, If you don’t like it, fine. Don’t read it.

What am I supposed to do? Lie about what appeals to me, just to satisfy the hard-core worshippers? You think it kicks fuckin’ ass. I don’t. You want me to lie about that? It’s the Complete King’s X studio series. You want me to leave out the ones I didn’t like just so you don’t have to read them? Get over yourself.

Coming soon to mikeladano.com:  Only sunny, positive reviews about music that kicks “fking ass”!  Looking forward to my forthcoming series of Def Leppard deep dives?  F’get about it!  Only 4/5 and 5/5 star writeups from now on.  Reviews so positive that they could have been a toothpaste commercial.  That’s the future.  Fuck honesty.  Write anything even remotely critical and you’ll get shithawks like D-Funk dropping turds all over your pages.

Listen to the song, read my review, and tell me if I was being harsh.

Martin Popoff & the Gang round up their King’s X Top Five

A huge thank-you once more to Martin Popoff for joining us on the show to talk King’s X!  We have been immersing ourselves in the magic trio from Texas:  Dug, Ty and Jerry.  And it has been brilliant.  And these were some brilliant lists.  Martin’s insight on these crucial records will be of interest to diehards and new fans alike.

Want a starter’s kit into King’s X?  Watch this show and listen to Martin.  He comes in at 0:12:45 of the stream.

Martin hung out and chatted King’s X (and a little Rush) for an hour.  Afterwards, we were joined by Kevin from Buried On Mars to continue the musical discussions.  Jacob Moon, Marillion, Def Leppard, Black Sabbath…it was a fun freeform chat that I hope you will stick around and enjoy for the balance of the show.

A huge thanks to Mr. T-Bone Erickson for the new Martin Popoff intro.

Your panel tonight was:

Thanks for Dr. Dave Haslam and KK for your bonus lists!

 

REMINDER: Martin Popoff and the King’s X Top Five lists on tonight’s LeBrain Train

Please give this one a “like” and a “share” — and give Martin your warmest welcome on tonight’s show!

The LeBrain Train:  2000 Words or More with Mike Ladano

Episode 50 – Top Five King’s X Albums with Martin Popoff

For this very special 50th episode of the LeBrain Train, we welcome back Martin Popoff to talk King’s X!  It is such an honour and a pleasure to have Martin on a second time.  The subject matter:  King’s X’s Top Five albums.  Actually a monumental task.  And you can’t read my reviews and guess how I will rank them.  I will be coming at this with fresh ears and no holds barred.

These are some serious lists, and we’re sitting down with a serious King’s X fan!

Tonight, “We Will Find Who We Are”.  Is this one “Over My Head”?  Let the “Skeptical Winds” blow.  I don’t want to “Pretend”, because “I’ll Never Get Tired” of King’s X.  Please give Martin your biggest welcome, and give it a share, won’t you?

 

Friday February 12, 7:00 PM E.S.T.
Facebook:  MikeLeBrain  YouTube:  Mike LeBrain

 

 

KING’X STUDIO ALBUMS + MORE

Part 1 – Out of the Silent Planet (1988)
Part 2 – Gretchen Goes to Nebraska (1989)
Part 3 – Kings of the Absurd (split bootleg with Faith No More)
Part 4 – Faith Hope Love by King’s X (1990)
Part 5 – “Junior’s Gone Wild” (from 1991’s Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey soundtrack)
Part 6 – King’s X (1992)
Part 7 – Dogman (1994) + bonus “Pillow” promo single review
Part 8 – Ear Candy (1996)
Part 9 – Best of King’s X (1997)
Part 10 – Tape Head (1998)
Part 11 – POUNDHOUND – Massive Grooves from the Church of Psychofunkadelic Grungelism Rock Music (1998 Doug Pinnick/Jerry Gaskill)
Part 12 – Please Come Home…Mr. Bulbous (2000)
Part 13 – PLATYPUS – Ice Cycles (2000 Ty Tabor)
Part 14 – Manic Moonlight (2001)
Part 15 – Black Like Sunday (2003)
Part 16 – Ogre Tones (2005)
Part 17 – XV (2008)

 

Over Our Heads? Top Five King’s X Albums with Martin Popoff on this week’s LeBrain Train!

The LeBrain Train:  2000 Words or More with Mike Ladano

Episode 50 – Top Five King’s X Albums with Martin Popoff

For this very special 50th episode of the LeBrain Train, we welcome back Martin Popoff to talk King’s X!  It is such an honour and a pleasure to have Martin on a second time.  King’s X was the subject broached (by Uncle Meat, thank you) and Martin challenged us to hone down our usual Nigel Tufnel Top Ten lists to a tight Top Five.

Topic decided, it was only after the fact I realized how difficult this was going to be!  But I think I have my top five ready.  These are some serious lists, and we’re sitting down with a serious King’s X fan.

Friday night, “We Will Find Who We Are”.  Is this one “Over My Head”?  Let the “Skeptical Winds” blow.  I don’t want to “Pretend”, because “I’ll Never Get Tired” of King’s X.  Please give Martin your biggest welcome, and give it a share, won’t you?

Friday February 12, 7:00 PM E.S.T.
Facebook:  MikeLeBrain  YouTube:  Mike LeBrain

KING’X STUDIO ALBUMS + MORE

Part 1 – Out of the Silent Planet (1988)
Part 2 – Gretchen Goes to Nebraska (1989)
Part 3 – Kings of the Absurd (split bootleg with Faith No More)
Part 4 – Faith Hope Love by King’s X (1990)
Part 5 – “Junior’s Gone Wild” (from 1991’s Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey soundtrack)
Part 6 – King’s X (1992)
Part 7 – Dogman (1994) + bonus “Pillow” promo single review
Part 8 – Ear Candy (1996)
Part 9 – Best of King’s X (1997)
Part 10 – Tape Head (1998)
Part 11 – POUNDHOUND – Massive Grooves from the Church of Psychofunkadelic Grungelism Rock Music (1998 Doug Pinnick/Jerry Gaskill)
Part 12 – Please Come Home…Mr. Bulbous (2000)
Part 13 – PLATYPUS – Ice Cycles (2000 Ty Tabor)
Part 14 – Manic Moonlight (2001)
Part 15 – Black Like Sunday (2003)
Part 16 – Ogre Tones (2005)
Part 17 – XV (2008)

VHS Archives #89: Doug! Ty! Jerry! It’s King’s X with some Faith Hope Love! (1991)

The late, amicable Dan Gallagher was always enthusiastic about every band he interviewed.  He drew a good interview out of King’s X, and asked some deeper questions that got the band thinking.  You’ll also see some live footage from the Faith Hope Love tour.

Subjects covered:

  • What is King’s X?
  • What does Faith Hope Love mean?
  • How much does Ty hate making music videos?
  • Spirituality in music — does it belong?

I really love Jerry’s answer on that question.

 

 

 

Thanks for hanging this week for a whole lot of old VHS clips.  Winter is the perfect time to work on projects like this!

VHS Archives #66: King’s X and the Dogman – Full band interview! (1994)

Join King’s X in the MuchMusic studios with Power 30 host Teresa Roncon!  All three members – Doug Pinnick, Ty Tabor, and Jerry Gaskill – sat for this live interview on the Dogman tour.

Lots of interesting subject matter is discussed.  Doug Pinnick had 4000 CDs in his collection in 1994 — I have just managed to catch up with him! Hear about influences, religion, and their hardcore following.

 

#700: How Are You Doing?

GETTING MORE TALE #700: How Are You Doing?

It’s been a week since we lost Mum…and we are doing OK.  Jen’s been focused like an electron microscope on getting things done for the funeral.  My job is scanning photos and preparing music…and catching up on laundry.  Attempting to put a dent into the pile of clothes I call “Sock Mountain”.  I’m assuming reality will hit us later.

For music, Mum would have liked if we used something by my sister Dr. Kathryn.  I hope I can find something appropriate, perhaps from her Stealth CD.  At least one track.  For the reception after, I’m using Mike Slayen’s awesome acoustic guitar album DUDE.  Don’t let the title fool you!  If Mum was well enough, I know she would have been enjoying this album with us.  Probably in the car on the way to the cottage.  She would have loved it.  Me, I would have loved just having Mum with us.

This has been a very hard year for us, and I know the power of music is such that you always associate certain tracks or albums with periods in your life.  Music also has the power to raise the spirits, and it did that for me quite a few times this summer.  On every shitty drive to Toronto on the 401, to every dismal hospital parking lot, my stereo was on.  A lot of albums were repeat listens, and I worry:  “Will I always associate the Bosstones or Blotto with this shitty summer?”

I might.  And that might make the Bosstones or Blotto hard to listen to, down the road.  I think we have to try and make more memories of those bands later on.  Maybe when we finally do return to the cottage.

That aside, we sure did devour a lot of music on the road.  Just last week, between Toronto and the work commute, I polished off Marillion’s The Singles ’82-’88 (12 discs), its followup Singles Box Vol 2 ’89 – ’95 (12 more discs), and a third “box set” of eight more singles. A whopping 1.5 gig of music.  Basically all their singles and B-sides in one massive weeklong stretch.  Meanwhile, back at the office, I had my Kiss flash drive.  Basically, everything I own by Kiss in one place.  I’ve been focused on the studio albums, and each one has been spun more than once.  I realised this:  I never seem to get tired of Kiss!

Whether it was Lick it Up, Hotter Than Hell, Dressed to Kill, Love Gun, Rock and Roll OverDynasty, Unmasked, Creatures…even Asylum got multiple plays in the last couple weeks.  When a band has been your favourite for over 30 years and you can’t explain why, I guess you can just keep playing those albums in rotation.  The later albums…admittedly less so.  The emotional attachment isn’t quite there.

Get this!  While I was bopping to Kiss Unmasked one afternoon, the guy in the office next to me put on “Summerland” by King’s X!  How cool is that?  When was the last time you heard King’s X in the office?  The guy even knew the names of the members.  Said a friend recently turned him onto King’s X, but all he had was the Best Of.  Gotta start somewhere!

Thanks for checking in.  We’ll be OK.  I think we’ll manage to make it through this, but not without the support of friends and loved ones.

#689.5: A Tribute to Superdekes [VIDEO BLOG]

A Coda to #689:  Fuck iTunes

 

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