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King's X - Please Come Home...Mr. Bulbous CD (album) cover


King's X

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Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I've long held the belief that Please Come Home.Mr Bulbous is a less than spectacular, even poor release, from King's X and as a result it has spent little time in my cd player. Why would it when I have so many other great King's X albums to choose from. However sitting down to listen to it again for the purpose of this review has made me think that perhaps I was being a bit harsh. Sure it's never going to rival the likes of their self titled debut and certainly not their all time classic Gretchen Goes to Nebraska but there's some decent stuff going on here.

By now King's X must have been wondering what they have to do to attain the success they'd been striving for. Perhaps because of this frustration the overall feel of this album is more downbeat and darker. But don't worry as they still combine their popier influenced Beatles style harmony backing vocals with their melodic heavy rock/metal along with touches of psychedelia.

Up until this point King's X have always managed to kick off their albums with a great opener. Fish Bowl Man does not keep up the tradition however despite having many King's X trademarks including one of the albums heaviest riffs. The verse is quite interesting with its scale climbing approach but the chorus is not one of their best. Much better is Julia which though very downbeat has a haunting melody. She's Gone Away is also excellent capturing all the best things about the band being both heavy and melodic at the same time, Ty Tabor also taking lead vocals as well as supplying a great guitar riff. Completing a trio of excellent consecutive tracks is Marsh Mellow Fields. Tabors guitar compliments a heavy riffing chorus with some moody atmospheric restrained playing on the verse and Jerry Gaskill drives it along with a nice drum groove and not forgetting a fine vocal performance from Doug Pinnick.

Much of the rest of the album is King's X treading water, nothing particularly bad about it but at the same time less than essential listening which is a shame.

So overall despite feeling I may have been a bit harsh with my previous judgement of the album it's far from a classic with only a trio of really excellent tracks. One for the fan who has to have everything by the band I think, the rest of you should check out some of their earlier classics or the return to form the band have made with their most recent 2 albums, Ogre Tones and XV. 2 ˝ stars.

Report this review (#187510)
Posted Friday, October 31, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars In My Not So Humble Opinion:

A friend of mine recently gave me "Please Come Home . . . Mr. Bulbous" praising it as one if his favorite King's X CD's. I tried to like it, oh I tried, in the end I came to the realization that: Please Come Home . . . Mr. Bulbous is probably not the best effort by King's X. While it does have a lot of the King's X chops and vocals that you expect, there is very little of the energy. It's not that Mr. Bulbous is a bad CD, it's just not a very good one.

There are a few highlights; Charlie Sheen is a upbeat tune with Ty Tabor dropping a tasty little clean lick and sings lead to boot. According to the band, Charlie Sheen really has nothing to do with the song; it just rhymed with 'save the queen'. I dunno, I'd have gone with 'dancing spleen' or 'Krispy Kreme' instead. I say this cause I've been wondering what war Charlie Sheen was supporting back in 2000 for about a week. Good song, nonetheless.

Fish Bowl Man is another decent, heavy King's X song and Marsh Mellow Field has a catchy chorus.

Unfortunately, the rest of the album is more like a Gazpacho album . . . without the ambience . . . or subtlety . . . or layers. "Julia", "She's Gone Away", "When You're Scared", "Smudge", "Bitter Sweet", and "Move Me" (both parts) drone on at the same slow and bitter sounding tempo and despite multiple listens, do everything in their power not to distinguish themselves from each other.

I'd love to give this a great rating, there were only three or four other ratings and a decent rating on this album would propel it so much higher. I can't, two stars. (See this is why I make a poor journalist, I feel guilty now) Grab "Charlie Sheen" on iTunes (the song, not the actor), and go on to Ogre Tones.

Report this review (#224278)
Posted Thursday, July 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars I guess the reason people are writing negative reviews about this album is because it's not really a "progressive" album.

But I have to say I love PCHMB. In fact for me it wasn't even a "grower", i took to it right from the get go. It's maybe my 2nd favorite KX album after Grechen.

It's an album that has a cohesive personality, you can probably pick out any song from it and realize what album it's from, I'm not sure but I think they tuned down all their instruments for this album and that (or something else) gives it a unique sound, one full of bass and growl yet crystal clear at the same time, I saw them live on the manic moonlight tour and they came out with different instruments for the tracks from bulbous and playing those songs grouped together further convincing me that they tuned down for this record. Ty's producing is top notch here as well as on manic moonlight (another underrated album).

Bulbous is kind of a nutty sideways sort of album, the cover with the light-bulb guy kind of embodies the enigmatic, yet screwy nature of the album. It's pretty dark in spots. The lyrics are elusive in places, but to me that adds to the charm, a lot of head scratching while flipping trough that lyric book.

Also, while Doug is one of the best singers out there, my favorite albums are those where they mix it up vocally, so this works that way for me as well.

FISH BOWL MAN is a crazy track where it seems as though they were just having fun, musically throwing out the rule book, but keeping things dark.

JULIA is a hypnotic song that grabs you and doesn't let go, contrasting slow melodies with aggressive instrumental flashes.

SHE'S GONE AWAY Ty airing his personal experiences maybe? But again the lyric sort of dreamy & hazy, and that "yeah" before the second chorus is a classic live moment.

MARSHMALLOW FIELD Doug sounds great here, his deep voice contrasts great with Ty's voice as they alternate verses before Doug takes it home on the emotional chorus.

WHEN YOUR SCARED The lyric is quite desperate and the melody dark yet there's again this dream like tone throughout, that is till the heavy riffing comes in trading space with some great drum fills from Jerry, before the melody starts back up, I love the ending of it, reminds me a little of the ending of "I'll never be the same" or "we were born..." but slow and lumbering, in a good way

CHARLIE SHEEN with a name like that how can you go wrong? this is maybe my favorite song, please hear it on a good stereo to get the full effect of the pounding bass by Doug & Jerry, but immediately contrasted with Ty's bright and upbeat riffing. Doug starts singing "It all works out" but very much against type then Ty comes in to sing the song's main parts in his own way. I can't properly express how much I love this song.

SMUDGE just very dark, calling forth childhood fears & nightmares, with some heavy imagery thrown in for good measure.

The aptly named BITTER SUITE keeps the darkness train a-chuggin' but in a lyrical way: "killing a bird with a knife, turning away from a life" Ty sings very melodically. The music here is beautiful as well as the harmonies from the 3 singers. But the desperate words stand out in sharp relief. Hope things are going better there Ty.

MOVE ME is the only song that seems out of place here, it actually sounds to me as if it was written years earlier for a previous album. But hey, the riffing and drumming are quite solid so I give it a pass. Also it's rewarding if you stick with it. Maybe they didn't want to end on such a low note with Bitter Suite.

Anyway underrated doesn't even come close to how I feel about this excellent album, to me, it's a classic.

I'd give it more stars, but I'm trying to be objective.

Report this review (#303545)
Posted Tuesday, October 12, 2010 | Review Permalink

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