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King In Yellow - Desire Paths (self-released)

3 May 2024

King In Yellow exists in a world that contains elements of all my favourite sounds and styles, genres, and scenes, just put together in slightly new ways. As I have pointed out a few times before, whole wave of current bands is mining at the old, post-punk seam, and in it, they are finding all manner of energies and atmospheres, angularity and abrasiveness, raw edges, and anthemic highs to jar and juggle together into something that, rather than looking back, continues the story.

Post-punk has a legacy and a life span that has outstripped most others, from its punky predecessor to its rock brethren, all of which have become either a nostalgic or diluted vision of themselves. As bands like King in Yellow prove, the art of writing new and meaningful chapters within your broad musical path is to remain creative.

“Desired Paths” is the sound of that creativity in action. From the barked Frank Black-esque vocals to the swathes of sound and cavernous resonance. From the searing guitar lines that dance over this sea of noise to the drum salvos, which add some semblance of structure. And from that distant echoing sound treatment that makes them sound as if they are playing very loudly two streets away to the shaded Bauhausian sense of menace, this is everything familiar done in a new, forward-thinking, smart, yet reverentially post-punk way.

By the time the song descends into its white noise, white hot, scalding playout, you realise that even fifty years down the line, post-punk is as relevant and necessary as ever. And it is because of bands like King In Yellow.

Spirit Shift