Review Summary: King Folly is a slow drive through the town of Hawkboy, allowing you to appreciate the scenery.King Folly
sees Hawkboy take a slightly different direction from their first, self-titled EP. They still utilize tempo and key changes to alter the mood of individual songs, but the feel of the EP, as a whole, is a bit different. The majority of songs are the familiar guitar driven indie-rock, excluding the 4th song, Stained Glass. King Folly
, is different in that it takes the scenic route through their sound.
The album opener, Wide Road
, starts off in a driving style and continues through the whole song in a way reminiscent of Weezer. There’s a guitar solo after the first chorus and then again at the end which roughly follows the vocal melody of the opening verse, giving the song closure, then transitions into the down-tempo Gotta Get Out
. Though the tempo slows for the second song, the drums and overdriven guitar still give the song a certain drive, which you can’t help but nod along to. However, midway through the listen, King Folly
, takes a more subdued turn. Corpse Lips
throws away the overdriven power chords from the first two songs, and trades them in for soft strumming. The drums in this song also hold back for most of the song, allowing the chord progression and vocal melody to carry the song. The vocal melody and tambourine in the middle of the song sound like something you’d hear in a 1960’s beach film. The song ends with a breakdown through the chorus. Stained Glass
sees the EP at it’s most subdued, with the whole song consisting of just vocals, picked guitar chords, and what sounds like a vibraphone. The mood remains calm for the entire song until the title track, King Folly
, kicks in. The song starts full force right out of the gate, with the familiar overdriven chords and an upbeat drum pattern. There is a tempo change in the middle of the song, but it picks up the pace afterwards with a snaking guitar riff which transitions into the final chorus.
Instrumentally, this album is dominated by neither the guitar nor drums, as they always seem to work together. Where one pulls back the other will start to shine, like in the trade off between drumbeats and riffs/chords in the title track. The drummer, Aaron Lunsford, has a penchant for ghost notes and syncopated drum beats, tending to stick in the groove of the song, while adding a flair to make it interesting. The drums are similar to most of the work he did on Come Now Sleep and Hell or High Water, but even more stripped down and streamlined. Cody Bonnette also seems to have trimmed the fat from his guitar style, where in As Cities Burn he would prefer slinking around the fretboard on singular strings, he now tends to stick to using bar chords and power chords to push the songs more, such as in most of Wide Road
and Gotta Get Out
. He uses riffs more when they serve a definite purpose like in the tempo switch near the end of King Folly
, which is easily the guitar highlight of the album, weaving through chromatic and pentatonic scales, and switching between chords.
Lyrically the album keeps in the secular vein that the self-titled tended to stick to, with the exclusion of Two Bit
. However, it has a song about the church in Stained Glass
: “Broke a pane of stained glass, cut your leg as you crawled through. But you came to take back what you gave in the church pews.” Usually the lyrics take a conversational tone, which I think is sometimes meant to be directed at the writer himself. They range from accusatory and warning like in King Folly
’s “You’re on thin ice with a heavy heart,” to the chilling lines in Stained Glass
: “It’s none of your business, but I need to confess, somebody to talk to. Talk me off of the ledge.”
I wasn’t impressed with King Folly
as much as I was with the self-titled at first, but as a listened to the songs more and more, I felt they brought something equally listenable. The album clocks in at around 17 minutes, the same as the self-titled, but feels much longer and more fulfilling due there being an extra song and more variety. It flows well from song to song and just has a rock n’ roll vibe the whole way through. King Folly
is a slow drive through the town of Hawkboy, allowing you to appreciate the scenery.