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King In Yellow - Your Religion (self-released)

3 April 2024

So far, my journey to the post-punk heart of darkness found within King in Yellow has been soundtracked by echoes of college rock and indie bands from the 80s and 90s golden age, songs that are often a perfect blend of a more understated pace and cavernous walls of noise. “Your Religion” is where they push my expectations off a cliff.

This time out, it is through a howling, punk rock landscape that they walk and do so fearlessly. Just that basic, bawling, brawling, bounding, pounding back beat that they set up as the song’s engine room energy, reminds me of my earliest gigging experiences; more Nick Cave’s Birthday Party than his later Bad Seeds sound, more Gun Club than Pixies.

“Your Religion” sounds like it comes from that point where punk bands realised that their four-four, three-chord, too limited, single finger to the world approach would only get them so far, and so they actually started to learn how to play something more interesting, write songs that could stand on their own two legs in the broader musical landscape. To this end, they began absorbing, warping and turning to their will, blues, country, rockabilly, and more experimental and avant-garde sounds—still punk, but punk for the long haul. If you told me that this song originated from that early 80’s point of collision, I wouldn’t bat an eyelid.

So, whilst “Your Religion” is still built from snarling guitars, barked lyricism and thunderous energies, it echoes a crucial crossroads in music history. It also takes on a pretty big subject, picking up a sonic spade and using it to dig a grave for the concept of religion as a whole. And that is not only a compelling conversation to have, it is a courageous thing to do. That is why we need bands like King In Yellow so very much.