As soon as I heard the first track on this shiny new début EP I was hooked. King Colobus have an intriguing sound that makes you want to listen – and listen carefully. Their sound is clean and precise but not clinical. Vocals are at the very front of the mix and the lyrics make you want to lean a little closer to the speakers.
There is a darkness here but it’s not morbid; a seriousness but not without a little tongue in cheek and a calm confidence that is by no means steeped in arrogance. What we have by the bucket load, is dedication to quality musicianship.
Officially formed in 2015, singer and lead guitarist Stewart MacPherson had dabbled in and out of music projects for several years with bassist James Bailes when they both lived in London. After a relocation to Devon (and back to their Plymouth roots) they hooked up with former friends on the Plymouth music scene: guitarist Gavin Huck and drummer Simon Marsh and have since been dedicating all their time and energy to King Colobus.
So let’s have a little think about genre… On the band’s Facebook page, they state, “We would love people to mention a truckload of other bands in order to describe us… Give our music a chance and put it in a pigeon hole of your choosing.”. Well for me the bands that immediately spring to mind are Editors and White Lies, so we’re looking in that general direction, but with a heaviness that I always found a little lacking in the aforementioned. To give you a further idea of the wider pool of influence at play, the band share a Queens of the Stone Age and Soundgarden love of crunchy riffage.
My first thoughts on opening track “Get Up” were that it would make a great live song. It comes at you like a steam train, full of energy and a hefty dose of venom.
Second track “King Colobus”, being the name of both the band and the EP, suggests that this is where it’s all at for the mighty foursome. With the low and grungy guitar riffs backed by heavy bass, you can immediately hear the Soundgarden influence here – but to no detriment at all. The song references turning from white to black – just as the King Colobus monkey does – and the associated social questions that would ensue in society today if people did the same.
The interestingly named “Tits and Teeth” appears to be a dark poke at the lack of depth to mainstream TV sending out empty messages to the Saturday night sofa surfers who don’t want intelligent debate, nor to see anything outside of what is conventionally acceptable, just bubblegum for the eyes.
Closing track “Wait” packs a punch and simply leaves me wanting more… at least six tracks more.
I hereby declare there is certainly room in the music world for King Colobus. Lyrically intelligent, insanely good musicians with an original sound, they can’t help but capture the attention of many a rock fan.
The King Colobus EP is officially released on 3rd February