KING'S X - Three Sides Of One
September 9, 2022, 3 weeks ago
"We didn’t want to make another record until we were convinced that whatever we did was better than anything we ever did."
So says King's X vocalist / bassist Dug Pinnick in a new BraveWords feature with regards to why it took the band 14 years to record a follow-up to 2008's XV album. It comes as no surprise, then, that the trio of Pinnick, Ty Tabor (guitar / vocals) and Jerry Gaskill (drums / vocals) have unleashed a musical marathon upon their loyal followers, many of whom will probably wonder what the hell happened during the 14-year trip to the studio.
Known by the diehard fans for being a cut above and two steps ahead of their peers - insert the overused but accurate "criminally underrated" tag here - King's X dug deep (no pun intended) for Three Sides Of One, splattering every colour in their musical palette onto the canvas and coming up with an album both unexpected and satisfying. Simply put, it doesn't allow you to get too comfortable. Lead-off track "Let It Rain" does offer up what people in-the-know expect of King's X with its glorious Pinnick preach-blues vibe, but the schizophrenic crush of "Flood Pt.1" that follows is a sign that all is not going to be what one expects. From the straight up bare-bones rock of "Give It Up", to the rich Black Sabbath-meets-The Beatles plod of "All God's Children", to the hippie-folk of "Take The Time" and the Thin Lizzy-ness of "Festival", Three Sides Of One defines the saying "never a dull moment" in the best ways possible.
Pinnick is seen / known as the voice of King's X even though Tabor and Gaskill have always shared in singing duties. Three Sides Of One is all about contrasts, and one really has no clue who is going to be up front from song to song. A heavy track like "Watcher", for example, has Pinnick written all over it, yet that isn't what we get. Likewise, "Every Everywhere" boasts unexpected combined vocals that create a distinctive Beatles hippie togetherness vibe to close the album. This may well be King's X's most adventurous record to date when it comes to the vocals alone.
There's a warm and gritty feel to Three Sides Of One as a whole, sounding as if it was yanked through and out of the '70s. Any so-called imperfections one may hear, as on the singalong chorus of "Give It Up" or the heavy-as-balls "Swipe Up", are a welcome change to the vast majority of current produced-out-the-ass AI recordings flooding the market. Another intentional move by the band, as the album was recorded analog for the old school vibe that so many artists chatter about but rarely deliver.
Three Sides Of One is far more about music rather than just metal, which is something diehard fans should expect where King's X is concerned. Masters of their craft, to be sure, just as they were in 1988 at the start of their career.