WORDS: Laura McCarthy
SPEAKING THE KING’S are a band that you may dismiss as yet another post-hardcore band. Yet with new album Carousel, SPEAKING THE KING’S prove that they are more than worth your time.
Build, ironically starts without much build up at all, a track that goes full onslaught into the hard vocals and chugging guitars. Symbols smash and the mix between aggression and melody are well crafted, and well thought out. It seems an uncertain way to open an album, but a minute into the song it really picks up the pace and finds its feet.
If you’re into your angsty, aggressive music, a guitar with big dirty chugs and some stings of riffing, and high energy then maybe go straight into Choke. Lyrically it’s empowered, fighting through the negativity of others words. “These are the words that you choke on” will be shouted along to at many a gig. When looking for that song on an album to introduce new listeners to, Caught in the Middle would seemingly be that song for SPEAKING THE KING’S. Frantic, energetic, it’s a top tune to lose yourself to. The overall feel of this track harks back to bands like OF MICE AND MEN and A DAY TO REMEMBER, with a dark and assertive breakdown, and the build back into the high tempo pit-inducing chorus. It’s a great track and a very much a staple for fans of the genre
Coming straight into Liar Liar, the playing feels, dare it be said, more metal- classically heavier and more brooding, while the vocals keep it firmly in the post-hardcore mood. Nothing specially stands out in this song, but the whole collective of rising vocals and solid playing make it a pretty good listen. Unfortunately Motion Sickness loses much impact in its lack of originality. The theme has been done to death in this genre as it is, and while the melancholy, happy/sad attitude will keep some fans content, while others will feel somethings missing. Again, there is nothing wrong with this song, it simply just doesn’t add anything and the previous songs of the album do a better job than this track.
Shipwrecked brings back some life, in the air of EMAROSA mixed with perhaps a little FOO FIGHTERS. There’s some nice playing in there, the drums and the bass lines doing exactly what they should, which is compliment the guitar playing, which does some great climbing up and down the neck.
A classic example of a rock-hardcore song is Worthless. The drumming here is high energy, the verve of the track solid and poignant. What is important in a post-harcore tune is to have a feeling off conviction and emotion, to level the musicality between the heavier and the lighter sides of music. This track does that pretty well, and is a good indication of what SPEAKING THE KING’S can do. Equally, the same can be said with City Lights, the next track, with chanting and pumped up riffs and melodies, it’s a very good effort.
The Way come right back into the screaming vocals, deep throaty lyrics delivered perfectly as Bobby Burap shifts between singing and growling. Catchy as hell, the slightly synthy elements over the bridge is also a nice touch that gives a new dynamic to the track. It’s one of the best tracks on the album, the band clearly giving their all, the dynamism is electric. Mastering a concrete sound and way of playing, SPEAKING THE KING’S have proven themselves as a great band in the post-hardcore scene. Finishing off this album is Close To Impossible, which isn’t the strongest ending to such a full on album, and starts to feel a little filler after such a great song previously. However, it’s still a lot of fun, even if it lacks much originality.
Overall, this is a great effort and demonstrates that this debut has some real power. It probably helps that Steve Evetts producer to ARCHITECTS, SUICIDE SILENCE and EVERY TIME I DIE, being on board, and is also testament to the kind of noise these guys can make. Not without error, and with room to improve, it’s sure that Carousel is the beginnings of a very fruitful career for SPEAKING THE KING’S.
Carousel is out now via Nuclear Blast Records.