King's X - XV
Groove Rock
14 songs (53:59)
Release year: 2008
King's X, SPV
Reviewed by Jeff
Major event

I've been a King's X fan from the very beginning. The two main ingredients that I've always liked about this band are the Beatle like harmonies in the vocals, mixed with their ability to rock and groove. Personally, I like the first four King's X albums the most. For me, that was some of their best material and producer Sam Taylor played a big part in getting a sound out of them that really hasn't been matched since. After they parted ways with Taylor, the music of King's X started to head in a different direction. This was very noticeable on an album like Dogman, which was very groove and grunge oriented, making it a bit darker and heavier. Since that album, their music has been all over the place, being experimental and unpredictable at times. Also, the members of King's X have been involved in numerous side projects and solo efforts. With that said, I was really looking forward to what XV had to offer. It's been almost three years since their last studio release, Ogre Tones.

I must say that on the first few listens, XV did not grab me right away. I can't help but feel that King's X have spread themselves a bit thin over the last ten years by using alot of good ideas for their other side projects, something I've been listening to for the past month. Ty Tabor has released three solo albums and has been involved with bands like Platypus, Jelly Jam, and Jughead while Doug Pinnick also has a few solo albums and has played in bands like Poundhound and Supershine. XV sounds more like an album that was strung together with material that is mostly dominated by the person who initiated the main ideas. Doug Pinnick has always been the more soulful, grooving grunge part of King's X while Ty Tabor has provided more of the harmony and melodic rock elements. Even Jerry Gaskill's vocals blend in so seamlessly with Tabor's that one can almost be mistaken for the other. Most of the writing for XV was done on an individual basis; outside the studio and away from each other. The band presented those ideas to the each other once they did get together in the studio. At that point the band tried to finalize the demo ideas by contributing whatever else they could by bouncing them off of each other. XV is pretty much split down the middle between Pinnick and Tabor both from both the song writing aspect and the lead vocals.

On XV, King's X once again employed the production talents of sound engineer Michael Wagener (Ozzy Osbourne, Alice Cooper, Dokken). XV is comprised of fourteen tracks that incorporate a little bit of everything from the entire King's X catalog. It covers a variety of musical territories and contains driving guitar rhythms, great melodies, grooving bass lines, etc. If you were to take all of of King's X's albums and put them in a blender and then pour it into a glass, the end result is pretty much XV.

XV definitely a grower. With each listen, I have come to like this album more and more. One of the things I really like about this album, especially where Doug Pinnick's vocals are concerned, is that he is singing with more power. He is reserved a bit on some areas but in others it's a pleasure to see him let loose. Check out Alright. During the chorus, he is really belting out the vocals in a way that I haven't heard in a long time. He even lets out a scream, something that hasn't been used as much on their songs over the last few albums. Even on a track like Go Tell Somebody, Pinnick's vocal delivery is almost preacher like that it's hard not to stand up, clap and start singing. It's a very catchy song!. Julie is the shortest track on the album and is sung by Jerry Gaskill. It is more of a slow ballad and has a Paul McCartney Let Me Roll It kind of vibe to it. Stuck has a pretty cool wah guitar solo by Tabor with a trippy chorus. I Don't Know soars with harmony and is very reminiscent of classic King's X like Faith Hope Love era stuff.. Songs like Love and Rockets (Hell's Screaming) and Prayhave more of a grunge, rock groove feel to them with the metallic, heavy bottom end bass sound.

XV is a King's X album that will inspire you to go back and listen to some of their other stuff. It's unique in alot of ways yet the elements that have always made King's X stand out are still present, regardless of whatever directions they have taken musically. Give it a chance, trust me. With each listen you will come to like certain songs and just like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, everything will eventually to come together and fall into place. The album will be available May 20th.


Killing Songs :
Blue, Repeating Myself, Rocket Ship, Julie, Alright, Broke, I Just Want To Live, Stuck, Go Tell Somebody, Broke
Jeff quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by King's X that we have reviewed:
King's X - Out of the Silent Planet reviewed by Boris and quoted 85 / 100
King's X - Dogman reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 88 / 100
King's X - Ogre Tones reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 78 / 100
King's X - Live All Over The Place reviewed by Jeff and quoted no quote
King's X - Black Like Sunday reviewed by Jeff and quoted 78 / 100
To see all 7 reviews click here
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