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King's X: Ogre Tones

The new King's X release Ogre Tones comes to us courtesy of the InsideOut Music label. Prior to this the band was associated with Metal Blade Records, and while I am not sure of the reason behind the change it is nice to see the group go to another quality label. I feel that the music of King's X is a little better suited to a label like InsideOut now, since most of the Metal Blade artist roster has become much heavier and extreme over the last few years. It might have had them lost in the shuffle accidentally. On Ogre Tones the band gives us a great piece of music with lots of bluesy riffs and harmony vocals. The trio has always had their roots in these musical principles but on the new CD is more apparent than on the last studio effort Black Like Sunday. They are a welcome addition to the new label with this type of music I am certain. Doug Pinnick still has the soulful voice that he is best known for; soft and subtle at time, and at others reaching a crescendo. Ty Tabor's guitar work is very nice and clean on the release while Jerry Gaskills drumming is as solid as it ever was. The great factor in a band like King's X is their ability to all sing in such great harmony with each other. From the opening track of "Alone", "Hurricane" and "Fly" you can tell that the group has not lost an ounce of their vocal prowess and sound better than ever.

While most of the record holds this bluesy feel there are a couple of heavier numbers such as "Bebop" and "Open My Eyes". Those totally serve the need for the brand of Hard Rock that the band can deliver. Those that enjoy ballads will definitely enjoy "If" and "Honesty". Ty Tabor does an excellent job at singing the lead on "Honesty" with only an acoustic guitar to accompany him. The longest track on the record is "Sooner Or Later" and it is a heady, trippy piece that has a touch of Pink Floyd to it musically. This CD appealed to me very quickly in the sense that it reminded so much of the music the band delivered on releases such as Out Of The Silent Planet and Faith, Hope, Love.

The only downside is the CD's length, it is very short running a little over 35 minutes if I calculated correctly. The last track "Bam" I was unable to understand and felt it was better to have included an extra song than some difficult to understand talking piece. I admit to being a casual listener with a handful of favorite tracks in the catalog, but this release clearly fills the need for any fan new or old.


Track Listing

  1. Alone
  2. Stay
  3. Hurricane
  4. Fly
  5. If
  6. Bebop
  7. Honesty
  8. Open My Eyes
  9. Freedom
  10. Get Away
  11. Sooner Or Later
  12. Mudd
  13. Bam

Added: October 17th 2005
Reviewer: Ken Pierce
Score:
Related Link: King's X Website
Hits: 4932
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

King's X: Ogre Tones
Posted by Steve Ambrosius, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-10-17 11:18:10
My Score:

Let's get the negative out of the way right off the bat. There are only three members in King's X, so there is a lot of room for each member to fill a song. Bassist/Vocalist Dug Pinnick chooses to fill his parts with straight eighth-notes or Root/root progressions. These songs would intrigue the listener so much more if they contained "groove". That said, the 13 songs on Ogre Tones are diverse enough to make this one very enjoyable plunge into riff-invested hard rock.


The song "Stay" at only 2:23 is a prime example of what you get with this CD. Verse/Chorus/Verse/Chorus/Solo/Chorus/Outro. We are not talking about breaking any barriers here. King's X lines it up and cranks it out. "Bebop" and "Mudd" are the two exceptions where the musicians decide to color outside the lines; the result is that they are the two highlights of the CD. "If" and "Sooner Or Later" are two very accessible songs that may get Ogre Tones a little commercial treatment.


King's X is a band that kind of falls between the lines for me. Way too polished to be a garage-rock act, but not creative enough to peak my interest as a commercial act. This CD will really appeal to fans of hard, crunchy, rock-n-roll. It stands up to multiple listening sessions, and has some catchy hooks, it just isn't going to be anything that you haven't heard before.


King's X: Ogre Tones
Posted by Michael Popke, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-10-10 11:24:51
My Score:

Pre-release hype for Ogre Tones, the 11th studio album from King's X, hailed it a return to old-school form for the Texas trio. And amazingly enough, the pre-release hype was right. This is the best King's X record since 1992's King's X, and it ranks among the band's top five discs ever. Although lyrically dark, the songs percolate with a lush bounciness, spurred by melodic riffs, rhythmic rumbles, heavenly harmonies and crisp sonics courtesy of renowned producer Michael Wagener (Metallica, Queen, Megadeth). Nearly every song can be considered a glorious King's X piece of art, and you can hear the guys having fun again. In the case of the video for "Alone," you can actually see them having fun, cavorting with sexy women while performing a track that ranks right up there with "It's Love." And just try getting catchy ditties like "Hurricane," "Fly," "If," "Mudd" and "Stay" out of your head.


Vocalist/bassist Doug (Dug?) Pinnick, vocalist/guitarist Ty Tabor and vocalist/drummer Jerry Gaskill all sound in prime form - so much so that I'm sure they could have come up with additional killer songs to fill more than the 35 minutes worth of material on Ogre Tones.


In a noteworthy nod to the past, King's X also included "Goldilox (Reprise)" on initial pressings of this record. Although the reworked ballad sounds very similar to the original, which appeared on the 1988 debut Out of the Silent Planet, its presence seems to indicate that King's X can now embrace its past while still blazing its future (the spacey, seven-minute "Sooner or Later") with music that nearly 20 years on sounds like no other band on the planet, silent or otherwise.


King's X: Ogre Tones
Posted by Murat Batmaz, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-09-26 15:07:26
My Score:

King's X is one of the rare bands that has continuously released a string of impressive albums one after the other, and they have yet to disappoint me with anything they've done, be it a King's X release, side project (Jelly Jam), or simply solo albums. Surely, when I hear a new album is in the works, I know I'm in for a treat.

The title Ogre Tones comes from a funny wordplay and is meant to read "Over Tones" actually, but since the word "ogre" has a sinister tone to it, the band went for it. Interestingly, I remember them tentatively calling their album Landscape when they were still in the writing process, but one can never guess what the band went through during the recording, arrangement, and production period, so Ogre Tones it is. As with every King's X album, this one is no different. It rocks hard with a groovy guitar and bass foundation, power drums, and unique King's X vocal harmonies with all three members contributing to the final product. Moreover, the band enlisted the services of excellent producer Michael Wagener who mixed and produced the album in his own studio, and rendered it a rock-solid sound with rhythmic intensity and colourful dynamics - just what this type of music needs. It surely shows that working with a professional has strengthened the guys' musical statement.

All the expected King's X similarities pointed out, the album does differ from their first two outputs. The songs are shorter, rarely seeing the 4-minute mark, and more direct. However, they are also very diverse in nature. Besides the classic King's X groove numbers "Alone", "Bebop" and "Open My Eyes", all of which are different from each other, there are also slowed-down pieces in the form of "Hurricane", the blues-inflected classic rock of "Fly" (with a gorgeous melody line running through the whole piece), and of course the mandatory love ballad "Mudd". It' easy to tell how much fun the guys were having during the recording of "Freedom", and how intense the mood in the studio must have been when Doug Pinnick sang his heart out on "Sooner or Later", lamenting the death of a loved one, with a fat bass bottom woven around Ty Tabor's processed guitar sound littered with Floydian psychedelia. "Get Away" stands out for its thoughtful lyrics and Gaskill's fantastic percussion work in the intro. The album is further diversified with an experimental track, "Bam", that contains merely a very heavy Russian accented guy speaking incoherently. "Bebop" will be a huge surprise for some fans because of its meaty guitar sounds, Pinnick's ripping screams, and its extremely catchy chorus that is filled with counterpoint vocals. Indeed the chorus is so catchy and sing-along-friendly that it may have even the oldest fan smile from ear to ear.

King's X is back with 47 minutes of music on their new label Inside Out. The CD features a multimedia section with videos for "Alone" and "If". They are worth checking out. How does this album measure up to their classics? Well, that's for you to decide.



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