King’s X is one of those rare things: an art-rock hard-rock band. (I am not distracted by the “artsy” prog-rock bands of the 1970s; I mean real art-rock.) They have been around now for almost twenty-five years, doing yeoman’s labour on the shady side of the spotlight, with a rather small but loyal following. There are just three people in the band, but each is an artist — not to mention a virtuoso — and they make beautiful sounds together.
Their first record was 1988’s Out of the Silent Planet, and for the next few albums they went from strength to strength. In my opinion their strongest record was 1992’s faith hope love, which, with its thoughtful lyrics, gorgeous guitar work, textured percussion, and close, three-part harmonies, is some kind of miracle. Their music became more aggressive and, to my ears, less focused on subsequent records, and I confess that I haven’t kept track of them very closely for the past six or eight years. I wonder what I’m missing?
My favourite King’s X song is “Over My Head”, from their sophomore record Gretchen Goes to Nebraska. If only all rock ‘n’ roll were this joyous!
A live action video is here, but unfortunately it is not embeddable.