It’s no secret that The King Lot are a firm favourite with some of the Moshville Times crew. Indeed, we’re baffled as to why they’re not playing much bigger venues when you hear the quality of their recorded material and witness their excellent live performances. That aside, at long last, the follow-up to their incredible debut album is here.
Having heard the material at several recent live performances like Winter Storm, Wildfire and Nordoff Robbins Rocks, A World Without Evil surely already has many favourite songs among their fanbase. Most notable for the band is the addition of six-stringer Jay Moir following the departure of Michael Fairbairn. And much like his predecessor and bandmates, Moir is incredibly skilled on his weapon of choice. With that, he’s injected his own flavour into the mix. As soon as you hit play and the title track kicks into life, you’re met with a very different sound then you’d expect from The King Lot. Still full of melodic goodness, Moir’s presence makes the band sound all that more heavy and gritty.
Using “Maybe They’re Watching Us” as the lead single (debuted on these very pages) was a stroke of genius. It bridges the gap between the self-titled album and this follow-up. As the song questions how far the human race can destroy the planet and what potential visitors may think of its inhabitants, it’s underpinned with a gargantuan bass line from Jason Sweeney as he spits out his vocals, not quite offering a hardline solution (since there isn’t one) but does offer the advice of “be better”. Whilst Sweeney’s bass rumbles much akin to Lemmy Kilmister’s to bring the album to a close, Chris Gillon provides solid drumming which is prevalent throughout the entire album and you’ll be nodding your head or tapping your foot (more than likely both) in no time.
The highlight comes in “Hearts On Fire”, the closest track to their debut album efforts. Its infectious hook will grab you immediately and if you’ve seen them perform it live, you’ll remember it immediately. Whilst they could have put down a set of new songs with the same sound as the debut and called it The King Lot II (and I’m sure it would be warmly received), it would have been a disservice. There’s not so much experimentation or departure, just a conscious effort to progress and not make the same album twice.
Meanwhile “Damaged Girls” and “Outlaw” perfectly show this new, aggressive, dirty side to them. Loaded with venom, it’s like they’ve let their usual perfectly-slicked hair down. All across the record, Sweeney’s vocals are much rougher and raw, as if he’s been gargling gravel between albums. It fits perfectly for the new material, making the band sound all that more heavy but there are points where songs would benefit from his vocals being higher in the mix.
A World Without Evil shows The King Lot aren’t a one-trick-pony, utilising their formula of hooks, grooves and riffs to ensure they don’t make the same album twice. With a heavier guitar sound and Sweeney’s rasping vocals, the melody may have been dialed back a notch, though it’s still very much present. With fresh blood injected into the line-up, it’s only been to their benefit to make something new and bring that ever-present question back to the forefront of discussion: “Why are these guys not playing to much bigger crowds?”
Header image by MB Photography Scotland
A World Without Evil is out now