I made the mistake of putting this new record in late at night when darkness blankets the street below me and the shadows play tag with the trash caught in the wind. Now, I’m a big fan of KING 810 believe it or not and I loved LA PETITE MORT OR A CONVERSATION WITH GOD, the band’s second record that released in 2016. “Alpha & Omega” performed live, is arguably one of the most soul-jarring songs I’ve ever watched live and after chatting with David on a stop in Dallas this past summer, LA PETITE MORT ranks in my Top 5 Lyrical Masterpieces of the last 20 years.
The contents of LA PETITE MORT are possibly one of the only things left in this reality that actually scare the crap out of me. That record told chilling tales that twisted around insanely composed music and were delivered by a true master of the macabre.
I searched for a word that was not as douche sounding as “macabre” but it fits more for KING 810 and David Gunn’s tenacity for wielding true tales from the land of reality called Flint, MI. These happenings aren’t spooky, or ghoulish, or weird because frankly, those words could describe things of a supernatural origin and I don’t want to mislead you to think of these as Halloweeny or something from the pages of a horror novel, because they’re not. The things David recalls and tells are things that humans have inflicted upon other humans; horrific things that have happened to this group of Americans fueled by greed, fear, pain, disgusting practices that have left deep seeded scars on the people that live there.
And my mistake wasn’t that I pushed “play” on SUICIDE KING and got scared or thought the boogeyman was coming to get me. Nope, not that. My mistake in putting this in the player was that somehow, what comes from the depths of this band pulls some of the stickiest, blackest, gunk out of my test-tube mind, filled with pockets of things that can’t be explained or need to come out in one way or the other. The mistake was that it was late when I started the first song and after listening and writing the track by track review, I now have those strings of sticky matter that aren’t going to let me rest anytime soon, no matter how hard I try to fling them off or wrap them up to save them for the morning.
The accounts of David Gunn continue on SUICIDE KING and as they’re told through his lyrics and the band’s music, parallel life in Flint seen through David and the band’s experiences. Before I babble on too much about nothing, let’s just jump feet first in and go track by track through the ten-song record, mmkay? Let’s go!
HEARTBEAT – explosively brutal, creating the crawls on your skin just from the vibrations alone. These are the beats that shake you up and loosen up the things that have to come out.
BRAVEHEART – eerie, hypnotic, lonely and painful melody with some poetically poised notions to carry the soul it is speaking to. This track has some legs that will either move you or kick your ass out of the way!
BANG GUNS – almost, and I say almost very loosely here, an almost hidden notion of sarcasm, or some kind of self-taught survival skill that comes out sideways and guttural. Seething message with a big chorus and a meaty groove. Do boys all boys have to have these kinds of toys? This song shakes your neck from side to side with a brilliant, lyrical account of taking to the streets to remain.
A MILLION DOLLARS – hypocrisy is a universal bag of bullshit. The riff grinds up the distracted parts of thought as the vocals slowly pull your eardrums from inside the other way but only to grab your attention again as the second verse begins. Someone stands at a dusty pulpit that has been jammed into concrete. This track is hard AF and rooted in serious KING 810 comfort.
.45 – gimme that groove…gimme that truth and the message I’m missing. Dang, Gina!! This track is mighty with one helluva grind in the middle that forges deep beats coming from a deeper understanding that this is reality, in all its glory.
WHAT’S GOTTEN INTO ME – jagged and jumpy throughout this self-examination or the introspective look into another – with or without awareness. The beat moves with several subtle pushes get you closer to the answer; this track will force you to follow til the end. Killer beats and tempo fits like a boss.
BLACK RIFLE – a swanky melody that surprised me as the chorus gave into the verse and about as close to a ballad that KING 810 will get; just close enough to make you pretend you’re singing something sweet in your mind, Sick AF imagery in the characterization – amazingly thick, heavy, and ballzout badass!! Sweet place for a guitar solo. Chaotically charismatic and all metal!!
GOD IS WATCHING – everybody, look busy!!! Look, this rolls off like a song mixed in a dream or where you can’t wake up fast enough. There’s a back and forth between hazy melody and strong riffs that give the rap some steps to walk down. This is tough!!! David spits out the words between lines of music and beats that splat loudly in the inter-workings of the mind! Dig this track so much but I hope God’s not watching all of this horse shit that’s happening down here…
WADE IN THE WATER – a somewhat spiritual-like confession, self-preservation, piles on more grit that is synonymous to KING 810. The paradox of the memory vs the whispers through the tap and click of sticks just makes this song swell with elements of the past and the present. I really love how there seems to be a record player turning out a song in another room, this song has so many layers of goodness that spawn some hope at the close of some rough times.
SING ME TO SLEEP – godammit!!! That whisper – right before the chorus…Gunn, are you ventriloquist-ing me as I listen?? Lullabies for adults are theme songs to reoccurring dreams that try to fool you that there will be another ending, drastically different than what it will be every time. Carefully and with great caution, listen to the lyrics and you’ll hear the whispers of everyone all over the world say and think these words during some parts of their lives. It’s within those struggles where we come out on the other side the victor!
So there you have my Lovelies! KING 810 does it again IMHO in making sure that the rough spots where the pain-to-growth are still there and haven’t been replaced or completely snubbed out. This record has some hints entwined that are quite curious and brilliant. There are patches throughout the record that make me want to punch something, HARD AF and then there are other pieces that fit nicely with the idea that this version of reality is all gonna work out just fine…right?
Pick up SUICIDE KING from KING 810 January 25th, 2019 at your favorite place to snag music. Rumor has it that the band’s currently planning a US tour after just finishing up a stellar European Tour so make sure you watch for those dates! And for the interim, check out the OMV (Official Music Video) for HEARTBEATS here:
SUICIDE KING is a self-released record via the band’s label KING NATION will release on January 25th of 2019. Also available for pre-order is the first installment of Gunn’s haunting memoir — SUMMERTIME IN MURDERTOWN: How I Survived Where The Best Die. The tome is being self-published and copies pre-ordered via Big Cartel will be signed. In the book, Gunn, a natural storyteller, pulls back the curtain on his hometown of Flint, painting a vivid picture like only those born and raised there can. He offers keen insight into a world that does not allow you to stop working through the struggle, urging the reader to forget backup plans. Instead, cross the bridge and burn it behind you. Give yourself no choice. Define the things you want and run toward them.
Til Next Time – MRML – Cherri