There are very few bands as undeservedly quasi-obscure and neglected as King's X. That bunch has been around since Lazarus, turned out intriguing slab after intriguing slab, and never caught a real break, certainly not as other far less talented ensembles have been heir to. They've recorded, gigged, and even solo-sided their asses off, but, as dUg Pinnick (the artist formerly known as 'Doug Pinnick') put it in the lead cut to Naked, they still have to bust their humps to pay the bills. Life's a bitch, it certainly is, and yet these roughed up bastards plug away, and thank God for that.
This is Pinnick's latest of, as far as I can discern, 5 solo dates and the skranky hardtack bassist plays, sings, composes, engineers, and produces almost every single note you hear. Does a fuck of a good job at it too, so the cat obviously paid full attention when King's X was in the studio all those years. He unfortunately sheared off them ultra bitchin' truncated dreadlocks, or whatever the hell they were, from his pate and is now opting for the Mr. Clean-shaven look but still as lean, sinewy, and hard-ass as the music has always been. The guy is, and always will be, total heart and commitment, though of the no-punches-pulled school that values naked honesty over saccharine bullshit. That hasn't changed one little bit.
He and bandmates have ever pursued spiritual concerns and have been labeled a Christian Rock band for it, though they've resisted the sobriquet. While I don't find that an unfair pigeonholing, there's an irony present: if they are indeed so inclined, are card-holding Xians, then they're carrying on the teachings of the Christ more faithfully—though I'd take exception to the baldly Libertarian elements present—than 99.9% of the friggin' Christers on the planet. Interesting side note, then: where the idiot Christians used to carry King's X in their sell-through venues, that all came to an abrupt end when Pinnick proclaimed his homosexuality, agnosticism, and general apostasy from Protestant roots and the whole Jesus sales-device universe. Bravo! Another blow against the empire and timely as hell.
Naked is 100% kick-ass hard rock/metal and perfectly in line with everything the home band has done. If you're one of those who have followed the combo since its first days, as I have, then grab this solo gig instanter, but if you haven't been a devotee, then this is as good a place to start as any. Despite their constantly 'bubbling under' status, Pinnick and crew have influenced a lot of metalheads and, though no one seems to know it, have forwarded the proto-metal era better than just about anyone. Should you know of elder efforts like Dust, Sir Lord Baltimore, Clear Blue Sky, Thunder & Roses, Three Man Army, and a still unknown slew of prehistoric headbangers, then ya know precisely what I'm saying: mountains of heart and sweat, constantly reaching for the skies while burrowing deep into the Earth, and the insistence to make their own music, no one else's, and thus suffering the penalty of being too damn good for the general run of chart-chasing pinheads.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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