Review: KING 810 – Memoirs of a Murderer

KING 810 - Memoirs of a MurdererI’d not heard of KING 810 until they had… “issues” getting to Download because they were prevented from boarding their flight out of the U.S. The two charges of assault were waived enough for them to travel elsewhere (one dropped, the other put on bail with travel allowed), and I’m sure just added to the band’s apparent “tough guy” image.

Image and back story notwithstanding, the fact I don’t know them makes it a bit easier to do an unbiased review of the album. I know there’s a lot of hate levelled at them and their music but I’m happy ignoring that. If you already don’t like them then you’re not going to get the album. So how about the rest of you?

Unusually for the style of music it’s a concept piece, though apparently non-fictional, being based on the life story of lead singer David Gunn. It includes a couple of bits of spoken word material to go with the songs and is divided into three sections: “Violence”, “Love” and “Art”.

I’ve read online that some people are comparing them to Slipknot (in terms of sound) and this isn’t without an amount of accuracy. Certainly, “Best Nite of My Life” isn’t exactly unlike something from the Slipknot’s first album, though more basic. As such, I’d say that if you’re into that sound then you may not be disappointed.

I’ll be honest, when Slipknot first appeared it took me a long time to get into them as they were marketed pretty much as a novelty act with all the masks and jumpsuits. KING 810 are doing something similar with the “look how tough we are, growing up in Flint” back story being a huge focus of their publicity rather than the music. Take the back-story away and you’re left with a fairly heavy album with some half-decent tracks on, but which doesn’t really offer anything new.

It doesn’t lack variety, though. “Take It” is one clean guitar and vocals, for instance, and you have the more sample/effects-heavy tracks like “Treading and Trodden”. “Eyes” is almost trippy.

If you step back from the “gangster” image and the publicity – either positive or negative depending on your outlook – you’re left with an album that’s certainly not bad. The offbeat tracks may not appeal to those who prefer the heavier sound,and roughly half the album is made up of such music. As such, for some, it would be almost like buying half an album and ignoring a lot of material.

All I can say is that if you can separate your music from the associated hype then it’s worth a listen. I know I risk being pummelled for even suggesting that people should open their ears to a band that’s got a lot of vitriol being thrown in their direction at present, but that is what I’m saying. It ain’t bad. It’s also not a classic – but by their very nature those are hard to come by.

Oh, release date is August 18th.

A reminder that the band are also touring the UK in September. Dates run as follows:

  • Tue 23rd Sep – BRISTOL Thekla
  • Wed 24th Sep – GLASGOW Classic Grand
  • Thu 25th Sep – BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy 2
  • Fri 26th Sep – LONDON O2 Academy Islington
  • Sat 27th Sep – MANCHESTER Academy 3

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