Ska-punk rockers sign off with final album.
The King Blues have always been a band who have given the people a voice, and have made their listeners think about their lives and how they can change the world around them. That is why it is so hard to say goodbye to a band who have made such an impact on the music industry, however The King Blues have given their fans one more record to officially say goodbye.
Just the title, Long Live The Struggle, indicates the band still have the same views which they had when they started, and although they have tried to help out the work-a-day average person in the constant ‘struggle’ against the government and police forces, there is still much more work to be done.
Being their final album, this should be a record which grabs the listener and makes them listen, however opening song ‘We Are What We Own’, as thought-provoking as it is, it doesn’t feel as powerful as 2010’s ‘Punk and Poetry’ album’s opener, ‘Last Of The Dreamers. The song starts the album off in a different feel, where as ‘Punk and Poetry’ made the listener think deeply about the lyrics, this makes you feel more chilled out.
The King Blues stick to their usual fashion of jumping into a heart-pounding second song as ‘We Are The Future’ kicks in, an inspiring track which will give you the urge to dance and scream the chorus “we are the future” with Jonny ‘Itch’ Fox, TKB’s, front man. The song also shows off the rapping talents of ‘Itch’, as ‘The Futures Not What It Used To Be’ did on ‘Punk and Poetry’. It also gives us a slight screaming side to ‘Itch’ which has not been witnessed before, it gives a feel of more passion going into the song.
Third song, ‘Modern Life Has Let Me Down’, is by far the strongest track on the album, we are given the classic King Blues riffing throughout the chorus mixed in with an odd telephone dialling sound. This song definitely offers everything great about the band, a catchy chorus, strong lyrics, a massive breakdown and brilliant gang vocals; put together it creates a song which depicts an average man giving the world the middle finger.
‘Wasted Words’ is the first slow song on the album, and it features the bands keyboardist, Josie Dobson’s vocals. Although the lyrics give you the right feel for the song, it seems as if it is missing something, being the first time we really get to hear Dobson’s vocals, it’s a shame that this is a chorus which you listen to just so that you can hear another verse.
The album shows different aspects of the band, mainly in ‘Can’t Bring Me Down’ which features Letlive. vocalist Jason Butler, who provided a scream aspect for the chorus. Although scream bands are getting themselves more known, it appears out-of-place on a King Blues album. ‘Tear Us Apart’ brings us back to classic reggae King Blues, as ‘Itch’ plays out the rhythm on his signature ukulele whilst singing about how “even love” can tear two people apart.
As this is the band’s last album, they try to offer something different, and song ‘This Is My Home’ is a peculiar track as it is based on a man, ‘Itch’, and his wife, who is portrayed by Dobson, that are in the middle of the London riots. The man is trying to get home to his wife and the entire song is through the perspective of a phone call, which the band pull off well as it gives more of a realistic sense to the song. The track also provides the listener with a much more powerful chorus from Josie Dobson, which shows off her vocal talent.
The album then becomes powerful again with ‘Power To The People’, the song throws us a chorus which relates to all of us who have ever been defaced by the government, it tells us the message that we are the ones with power.
As the album ends with track ‘Keep The Faith’, although a strong song, it leaves us wanting more and as ‘Itch’ and the band chant out “keep the faith” it is obvious that they are talking to their fans.
With the band calling it quits because as ‘Itch’ puts it “we feel we have taken things as far as they can go” the world is a much darker place…now who will be the voice of the people?
Long Live The Struggle is out now.
Listen to: Modern Life Has Let Me Down, This Is My Home and Keep The Faith.
The Full Track-Listing is as Follows:
We Are What We Own
We Are The Future
Modern Life Has Let Me Down
Can’t Bring Me Down feat. Jason Aalon Butler
Tear Us Apart
This Is My Home
Booted Out Of Hell feat. Tim Armstrong
Power To The People
When The Revolution Comes
Keep The Faith