Band: King 810
Album: Suicide Kings
Release Date: January 25th, 2019
“How can we give them something new, that’s serious, but entertaining too?”
These are the demented whisperings of the scarred and scary King 810 front-man, David Gunn, that first greet you at the opening of this album. Like a gunshot that cuts the serenity of the night with a sudden sickening crack, the quartet from Flint, Michigan (appropriately dubbed Murder Town) are returning to the stage, toting a new album on the heels of their reformed line-up.
Gunn has stated that this album completes the “Love” themed trilogy that began with 2014’s Memoirs of a Murderer (the love of violence), 2016’s La Petit Mort or a Conversation with God (love of sex) and now with Suicide King, the love of money. Continuing their genre-defying stomp through the boneyards, the album opens with Heartbeats, the first single released on Halloween of 2018. Taunting the devil in his usual tirade of maniacal cries, the song begins at a steady pace before launching into the pre-chorus that continues with the Native American style rhythmic chants heard throughout the song. It’s during these pre-choruses that the band effectively utilizes a hollowed out reverb effect on the guitars and vocals, before the chorus jumps over the counter and jams a gun into your ears.
Following the lead single of the album is the second single, Braveheart, dedicated to the US Armed Forces. With constant flashes of the violent, crushing chorus juxtaposed by the almost apologetically quiet verses, this song can only be heard properly by imagining yourself in the impossible position of a veteran of war during peacetime. The true power of this song, however, is the bridge. The twenty-second murderous verse evokes the image of a soldier in the heat of battle. With this section of the song, King are proving once again that they possess the brutality demonstrated on Alpha and Omega with the expertly applied timing shown in A Conversation with God.
Following the descending formula of Suicide King comes Bang Guns, which as the name implies, is another insight Gunn offers into the nightmare that is growing up in Flint Michigan. This song marks the beginning of Gunn’s rap influences and work into the album, with a much more synthesized and dark pop-like beat. Make no mistake, if you think this is King’s foray into something more light-hearted, you are mistaken. Bang Guns is another forceful entry on this album that reminds the listener to expect the unexpected, with a calming outro that harkens that voice of an angel collecting your soul after you’ve been gunned down on the streets of Flint.
If you are planning a visit to Flint, ensure you don’t bring A Million Dollars with you. Despite a few somewhat bland verses, the pre-chorus shrill cry of “All my life I’ve learned, that one day we all burn” is a sharp reminder of Gunn’s vocal abilities, demonstrating a high scream that has not been heard since the days of their Midwest Monsters EP.
Bringing the album’s next unexpected twist is the album’s halfway point, .45. A heavy rap song, but a rap song nonetheless, which could throw a listener who is more accustomed to the vicious stabbings received from Heartbeats or Braveheart. Overall, the song does have some quality lines but not enough to warrant a repeat.
Track number 6 begs the question, What’s Gotten Into Me? that Gunn eagerly invites the listener to attempt to answer. This song does have more rap elements than .45, but contains a more structure lyrical format that speaks truth of Gunn’s past and upbringing. Although the song is stronger than .45, it too doesn’t hit the mark as hard as the others on this album, which again doesn’t earn it repeat status.
Black Rifle is the song that King have been building towards since Take It on Memoirs. As much as there is to say of this funeral stomping, melancholic banger, it would not do it justice. It is the defining track of the album, the crowning jewel in King’s crown. This song will find its way back into your musical queue faster than a bullet from the barrel.
Returning to the hip-hop inspired tracks earlier in the album is the harrowing God Is Watching. A better example of Gunn’s work in his solo projects, but feels almost misplaced after the heavier, opening tracks and the melancholic anthem of Black Rifle.
Like a hand of shadow that reaches gently and silently out for your soul, Wade In the Water touches back on the Black Rifle energy demonstrated earlier, with a hard-hitting and emotional bridge that rivals the power of Braveheart.
Closing out the album is Sing Me To Sleep, a song that is laden with longing and loneliness. Appropriately for a closing track, this is the song that feels Gunn has turned his back and begun serenading a faceless lover. An interesting experiment that ultimately does it’s job, Sing Me To Sleep is a fantastic example of the band’s ability to surprise and stimulate their audience.
In conclusion, it seems King have found their mark with this newest addition to their catalogue, undoubtedly spicing up their live shows. A venerable display across a number of genres, there’s something for everyone in this Midwest Monster of an album.
- Bang Guns
- A Million Dollars
- What’s Gotten Into Me
- Black Rifle
- God Is Watching
- Wade in the Water
- Sing Me to Sleep
Total Playing Time: 40:32
I’m 24 years old and living on the Sunshine Coast in Australia. I love music and heavy metal especially!