Still provocative, still menacing.
Ah King 810. The band who so many struggle to take even remotely seriously (for good reason to be honest) but yet have a strong a dedicated following and a relatively successful run thus far in the industry. When the band released their debut album Memoirs Of A Murderer in 2014 the level of hype surrounding the band was absolutely massive; dubbed as a media darling, the push King 810 had at the start of their career is something so many other bands could only dream of. But breaking it down, it's important to really dissect whether the hype was justified. Who exactly were this band appearing across the Music media with balaclavas, bandannas and baseball bats among other things? The debut album ended up subject to quite a mixed reaction in the end - the over the top bravado and menace in both the band's image and lyrics was a bit too much on the surface. So here we are a few years later with the always difficult second release. The tornado of hype which loomed over them with the debut has toned down somewhat this time round, and yet they've actually produced a far better album.
Much like with the first album, if you go in to this with even a shred of cynicism you'll probably be turned off immediately. The opening lyrics on the album state "I'm back home motherfucker, get me my guns and my throne, tell the music pussies to leave me the fuck alone" so the over the top nature is still very much present, but whilst the debut album's lyrical content felt like a snapshot of the band's perception of their home town, this time around the attack very much feels a lot more directed to those who maybe have doubted them - the lyrics in Vendettas also suggesting similar "And everyone is lookin' at me like there's rules to music". But even if we were to move away from the actual lyrical content for a moment, as a vocalist David Gunn's delivery is absolutely outstanding. He spits the lyrics out with such venom and power you really do get sucked in to each track. Musically the band behind him are excellent at points, and really heavy, but it's his vocals which make them at the very least push towards sounding a bit more unique in comparison to similar bands around at the moment.
Much like with the debut album the production on La Petite is truly excellent. The riffs sound huge and chunky, something made especially more prevalent on this record with some of the slower, more calculated, tracks. This time round as well they've tried out new things, including the use of strings, to the benefit of the overall sound on the album. They've dropped the ridiculous skits and substituted it for a more interesting and different approach on some tracks than you might expect. Perhaps the biggest negative on this record is the fact that it does feel a bit top heavy. The first couple of tracks race out of the blocks and get you hooked in but by the end of the album your attention span will almost certainly begin drifting away. This time round they seemed to have taken a more proactive approach in the editing room, something they should have pushed on a bit further in order to have made this a far more concise beast.
Overall then, whilst this is unlikely to be included in any 'album of the year' lists in 2016, this is a solid Metal record which (if you're prepared to leave your cynicism at the door) can make a real impression. This band have a 'no fucks given' approach which whilst at times appears completely ridiculous, is actually startlingly refreshing in a genre which has too many bands playing it safe at the moment.