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King Never - 37 (October 15, 2013)
“37” is an interesting five song teaser EP from the Sacramento, California based alternative rock group KingNever. And although they categorize themselves as alternative progressive rock I hear much more of the 80s' alternative bands in their compositions than anything I'd call progressive rock. Yet on the odd occasion I do hear flashes of Adrian Belew style guitarwork peppered throughout.
The music is influenced by bands like Police, The Fixx, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, and Radiohead; and even some of the later period albums from the band Spirit can be detected in tracks like “Push And Pull” and “Mr. No”.
For the most part the accessible compositions are sedate melancholy ballads; a bit on the short side, but with an infectious hook. Solid songwriting.
At the time of the recording the members included: Scott Gontjes (drums, vocals), Matt McCabe (vocals, guitar, Moog Taurus bass pedals), and Karl Lane (bass, keyboards). Since then drummer Scott Gontjes has departed leaving the two remaining members to audition for his replacement.
Recommended for fans of 80s' alternative rock.
Reviewed by Joseph Shingler
The first review of our new EP! Thanks Down The Line Magazine!
King Never - 37 (May 18, 2013)
Fans of crafty electric guitar and bands like Porcupine Tree, Belew-era King Crimson and The Police will want to check out this King Never EP. It’s a straight-shooting representation of what this tightly-knit trio can do on stage. Until I get the chance to see it happen in Chicago, I’ll be spinning 37. I’ve been a fan of Matt McCabe’s playing and songwriting an embarrassingly long amount of time, but for good reason. This set finds him making yet another forward push against the boundaries.
- Jeff Elbel (Down The Line)
I'm not sure when this review from Sonic Dissonance was published, but here you go.
King Never - Possibilities
After days of internal debate, I came to this conclusion about King Never's new album, Possibilities. For me, it's like a Bomb Pop.
Seems to me there are two basic types of Bomb Pop eaters. Of course there's those that are die-hard with red-white-blue colored treats, they love every last bit of the popsickle. Then there's people like me that may only really prefer one of the three flavors. It's not that I won't eat the white or blue parts, I'd just rather have more of the red.
Occasionally, I'll run into similar feelings toward an album. Enter King Never.
As a whole, Possibilities will make a lot of people happy. The rhythms and grooves are smooth, the lyrics are quotable and Matt McCabe's vocals are fluid enough to garner some well-deserved attention. The die-hards (not unlike die-hards for any other band) will quickly become engrossed in the new songs, possibly proclaiming them to be King Never's best work to date.
As a King Never newbie, I can't attest to the difference between Possibilities and any of King Never's prior work dating back about 15 years. I can, however, tell you that the guitar work on Possibilities is my cherry end of the Bomb Pop. McCabe does a solid job of drilling out some electric work. For me, it's that electric work, with some semblance of ambient rhythms that keeps me listening.
Much like the frozen treat, I'll continue to listen and enjoy on some level the rest of the album. I just can't find myself engrossed in the rest of Possibilities. It's easy to recognize the talent and understand how and why the songs fit together, but it falls just short of personal intrigue.
What does it all mean? It means that McCabe and King Never have won me over enough to keep listening, even if it is sporadically just to get a guitar fix. Much like the Bomb Pop, I'll continue to open my ears to King Never's work even if the album as a whole isn't necessarily the best flavor for my personal soundtrack.
Recommended if you like The Fixx, Brian Eno, Porcupine Tree.
- Sonic Dissonance
The October 2010 issue of the magazine Down The Line features a nice write up and interview with me. Among other things, author Steve Russ and I discuss my musical background, influences, and plans for King Never.
Russ had this to say about Possibilities...
This is one of those albums where you can use the “alternative” label and it actually applies. This is definitely an alternative to the mainstream. The songs are so well crafted, the layers so fluid and smooth, this becomes one of those discs that you wish you had come upon even sooner!
If you are hankering for a little more insight into the how and why of King Never, I think you will find the interview enlightening and entertaining.