Review Summary: Really good effort for a band this new to the scene.
How do you usually get to know a band?
Well, for most people the answer is easy: “I listened to that local radio station and happened to like that song so I started listening a bit more.”
Then, there are those people with an obscure taste in music. Like you would never hear The Dillinger Escape Plan
on a normal radio station, that would just be way too noisy for 90% of the population. So you visit the internet and look for something on Sputnik or Last.fm or YouTube or whatever site you prefer. But have you ever listened to a band you had seen on Instagram?
That’s right, Instagram. I recently posted a photo of Henrik Ibsen’s “The Wild Duck” with some lyrics written on it and it was liked by an account I didn’t know before. Curious me clicked on it and found Daneel, the singer of The King Is Dead.
Now that is something you can tell your friends and maybe laugh a bit, but what made me order their EP “Once Upon a Burning House” including that stylish t-shirt? Well, I will try to explain that now.
The first thing you will notice about Once Upon a Burning House is that it is unpolished. This band is new to the scene and are just pulling off their first effort to get themselves a bit more known in Great Britain. Overall, they did a solid job with the instrumentation and lyrics. What most bands mistake a “post-hardcore” sound with though is basically just a bit lighter metalcore with some clean vocals. We have seen that more than enough on bands signed to Rise Records like Secrets
, but it’s no secret that this is a general issue to the genre. What do these guys from Leeds, UK make out of it?
Well, it is not like they re-invented the post-hardcore wheel, but there is something about them what makes them stand out from all the other bands. The screams sound really good in comparison to some other bands you find in the scene and all of this really gives you the impression of a record with passion behind it, and that is what counts. The drumming and the guitars both have moments where they really stand out and play a good role, but after all they are just good at supporting the vocals.
Talking about vocals, there is something else which has to be considered - the lyrics. What you expect from a metal/post-hardcore release these days is someone bitching around about everything (*coughs* Ronnie Radke). A girlfriend who betrayed you, other people who didn’t like your emo haircut or whatever the *** happened to you. The King Is Dead could not seem to avoid some clichés. Yeah, it is somewhat hate-fuelled, but in a different way than I had expected from a band making their first steps in the music scene. Surely, these are not lyrical masterpieces (»You had your chance bitch, now it's time to pay the ***ing price«? Sounds like I heard that a thousand times before), but they are not bad either and the catchiness and the overall good sound really makes up for that. I have been listening to this EP since two hours now on repeat while writing this review and it did not get boring.
After all, they really show some talent, considering that they formed in september 2012. I have heard much worse from bands who are releasing their third album now (by the way, have you ever heard about Sleeping With Sirens
?). It is surprising how good their first attempt at releasing something actually is and if they improve their songwriting for a bit, they can actually go a long way with their music.