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King's X

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King's X XV album cover
3.47 | 53 ratings | 7 reviews | 9% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Pray (4:15)
2. Blue (4:25)
3. Repeating Myself (4:09)
4. Rocket Ship (2:44)
5. Julie (2:41)
6. Alright (2:59)
7. Broke (3:56)
8. I Just Want to Live (4:21)
9. Move (4:02)
10. I Don't Know (3:32)
11. Stuck (3:56)
12. Go Tell Somebody (3:17)
13. Love and Rockets (Hells' Screaming) (4:22)
14. No Lie (5:20)

Total Time 53:59

Line-up / Musicians

- Ty Tabor / guitars, vocals
- Doug Pinnick / bass, vocals
- Jerry Gaskill / drums, vocals

- Allen Thomason / backing vocals
- Bro. Jeremiah Loudenphat / backing vocals
- Michael Wagener / backing vocals
- Tim Heap / backing vocals
- Wally Farkas / backing vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Warren Flanagan with Mark Weiss (photo)

CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMCD 290 (2008, Germany)

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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KING'S X XV ratings distribution

(53 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(9%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(55%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

KING'S X XV reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars More than 20 years have gone since King's X started releasing music, and they are still able to make good albums. The band has a distinct sound, once you hear the start of a tune you know who's playing, but even so there has been a slight development of style.

In their early days influences from The Beatles as well as some leanings towards psychedelic rock was present in their compositions. These days there's not many traces of those specific influences left. True enough, vocal harmonies still is a feature here, but the voices of the band members have changed a bit over the years, so whereas the style is similar the sound isn't.

On this album hard rock is the name of the game, contemporary in sound but with leanings towards the 70's. Soul and gospel influences are audible in the tunes but never to the extent of being prominent or dominant. The all mighty blues is more of a major influence, and the bonus track No Lie showcases that quite a bit. Some funk and alternative leanings can also be found.

This is a good album, fans of hard rock in general might want to check this one out.

Review by The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars KING'S X latest record is highly enjoyable, if not exactly highly memorable.

The music in this record, as it has been the norm as of late, sounds distinctly like blues-oriented hard-rock at times, and it just hints of metal every now and then. To have an idea of how "XV" sounds like, think of a D'Virgilio-era SPOCK'S BEARD: hard rock with just some minor progressive leanings. What differentiates both bands is that while the former show their progressive roots very frequently in longer-than-average songs, KING'S X never reaches for that extra notch in complexity or track duration and always stays within the safe limits of hard-rock. Verse-chorus-verse structures are the rule with almost no exception.

The playing is ok. The vocals are a little rough but somewhat powerful, if not exactly impressive. The musicianship is good, but the music never really demands a lot of the instrumentalists nor does it put a lot of pressure upon their shoulders. Basically, songs sound like they have been carefully crafted and created, but there's never that hint of "genius" that other bands' music seems to burst of.

In my opinion, the best song in the album, the one with the most energy and groove is "Move". "Pray", the opener, is entertaining, as is pretty much every other song in "XV". The problem is that when time comes to name a highlight, is quite difficult to choose one, not because all of them are so brilliant, but because none of them is actually that memorable.

In the end, the album is good for a drive or for listening when there's no need for difficult music. Entertaining, very competently done, the album receives 3 stars. I think that KING'S X entire discography is one big chain of 3-star discs. Never awful, never brilliant.

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars When King's X released Ogre Tones in 2005 it marked a return to form for the band after a number of patchy releases. To prove that it wasn't just a one off XV turns out to be another excellent album from the Texan 3 piece, perhaps even better than Ogre Tones though not quite reaching the heights of classic albums from their back catalogue like Gretchen Goes To Nebraska.

If you're new to King's X then their Prog Related category here on Prog Archives will tell you that they're not really a Progressive Rock band though Prog overtones can be heard in some of their work. They play melodic heavy rock, sometimes drifting into metal with strong emphasis on the vocal work, heavy use being made of backing vocals which has often been likened in style to that of The Beatles.

King's X have never been the most progressive bands in the literal sense either, retaining a similar style today as can be heard on their earlier albums as far back as the late eighties but they make up for it with song quality. They certainly know how to write a good riff that gets immediately under the skin as on album opener Pray, a mid paced rocker which alternates between a sparse verse and a full on chorus. Blue is less in your face with a strong melody and a fine vocal from Doug Pinnick and one of the best tracks here. Repeating Myself is the band in more restrained mode with guitarist Ty Tabor taking lead vocals, which he does on most albums for 1 or 2 tracks. One of the strengths of King's X is that all 3 band members including solid as a rock drummer Jerry Gaskill are able to contribute to the vocal work effectively as on this track.

Rocket Ship gets things back into heavy rock mode but turns out to be one of the less memorable tracks on XV. Julie on the other hand is excellent. Containing another Tabor lead vocal it features a particularly catchy melody and some tastefully restrained guitar work. Alright picks up the tempo, another straight no nonsense rocker and far better than Rocket Ship too.

Broke is a slow plodding rocker, alternating between a verse with minimal guitar and simple drums and the band coming in full force for the powerful chorus and it's straight into I Just Want To Live without a gap. Once again a memorable melody is present on this catchy tune. Pinnick's top heavy bass along with Gaskills drums drive along Move on the verse supplemented by a grinding Tabor guitar riff on the powerful chorus. Harmony vocal work is the order of the day on I Don't Know and Stuck has the honour of containing perhaps the best Tabor guitar riff of the album, no mean feat considering the guys a master of them.

This album seems to get better and better towards the end and Go Tell Somebody, another catchy mid paced rocker is the proof. Love and Rockets (Hell's Screaming) on the other hand whilst not bad is not particularly memorable and neither is No Lie, a plodding bluesy rocker but these last 2 tracks are bonus tracks on the digi pak version only so they can be excused for that.

So overall another strong album from King's X and one any fan of the band will surely want to add to their collection.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars. I think this cd fits fairly nicely with their first four classic albums (the first three plus "Dogman"), though it's not quite as good. When did Doug change his name to Dug ? I must admit I have nothing from the band between "Dogman" and this one. Anyway the guys look great and very similar to the old days. Good for them.

"Pray" is a fantastic opener. I really can relate to the lyrics which basically say instead of trying to change me, pray for me ! Get off my back and let God change me if your so convinced I need to be like you. Yes I can relate and have actually said these things to religious people.This song gets pretty heavy after 2 1/2 minutes. And check out Dug who brought out his 12 string bass for this one. "Blue" is a mid paced tune that just feels right if you know what i mean. "Repeating Myself" is such a meaningful song. Ty's on vocals telling us a story. "Rocket Ship" is heavier with more energy although the chorus is lighter. Great ending. "Julie" has Jerry on vocals. That's a surprise. The guitar sounds great as Ty strums away. "Alright" is an uptempo rocker that recalls their past. I like it ! Dug sings : "You put your hand on my shoulder and told me, do what you do and believe". Amen Dug, keep it up man.

"Broke" is a fun tune. Blues flavoured with a steady beat. I like the vocal melodies before a minute "Na na na na No Yeah". Great track. "I Just Want To Live" is a very cool song. Guitar solo before 3 1/2 minutes. "Move" opens with drums and chunky bass as vocals join in.Kicks in around a minute as the contrast continues.They're cooking to end it. "I Don't Know" opens with Ty on guitar and vocals. Those harmonies come in before a minute. Nice.This is classic KINGS X. "Stuck" has some power to it. Ty lights it up 2 1/2 minutes in. A great rhythm to this one. "Go Tell Somebody" is hard not to sing along with or move to. Check out the guitar after 2 minutes. Oh yeah ! "If you like what you hear then go tell somebody". "Shout it from the rooftops...go tell someone".

Go tell someone about KINGS X because these guys are pretty amazing, even if they call their 12th album XV. I didn't say they were good at math did I ?

Review by Roland113
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars In My Not So Humble Opinion:

"XV" by King's X is a pretty good album.

To the best of my knowledge, King's X started out as a positive influence, almost Christian, band. I say this because one of my earlier bands modeled ourselves after them. This was back in the early nineties for those of you that are keeping score at home. So we patterned ourselves after King's X, we weren't overtly Christian, we didn't preach because we didn't want to alienate the non-religious. Well, that and I was the black sheep of the band, I was the guy that the rest of the band wanted to convert, there was only so much preachiness that I could tolerate. Regardless, all of our songs did have positive or thought provoking lyrics. We avoided the hard rock clichés of bangin' hoes and swinging deals . . . or what ever the kids are doing these days . . .

We didn't have shoes back then either, if we stepped on an ungrounded patch cord, we felt it . . . and we had to carry our own amps too. Now where'd my pants go?

Anyways, my point is that King's X was a very positive band back then, embraced by the religious community, specifically, the born again Christian community. In ninety-seven, lead singer and bass player Dug Pinnick came out of the closet and the community that he thought he was a member of, turned their back on him. Their albums were pulled from the Christian record stores and support was dropped.

Dug was understandably upset by their reaction, or at least I presume that he was. The band took a turn at that point producing a series of sub-par albums full of cynicism and bitterness, followed by Ogre Tones and XV. Despite the higher quality of the last two, the bitterness is still omnipresent.

"XV" features the same great King's X signature sound but the joy that once pervaded their music has been replaced by resignation. This bitterness is shown first in "Pray" the rocker that starts the album off. This is a great song that starts the album firing on all cylinders with Dug reminding those in the know to throw a prayer his way, "If you think that Jesus has saved you . . . then don't forget to pray for me." Later on in the album, in "I Don't Know" Ty Tabor sings 'Did I say you need forgiveness . . . I don't know what I was thinking . . . cause I don't know what I was sayin'. You can see my point, not the positive band that they once were.

While it was kind of quirky on their last CD, on this one, it actually brings the CD down. The songs "Blue", "Julie", "Broke", "Stuck" and "No Lie" all do nothing for me. "Broke" in particular suffers from Tuscanesquely bad lyrics, "With a credit card you pay your bills because you're broke, is this a joke?" I'll let that one sit for itself. "No Lie" is your basic 1, 4, 5 blues riff and a fairly un-ambitious one at that. In all fairness, Dug does state that he'd never sung this song before at the beginning of the song. King's X is good for putting an oddity at the end of their CD's.

Onto the highlights: the aforementioned "Pray" is a solid opener despite the bitterness. "Repeating Myself" and "Rocket Ship" are the two of the best tracks on the CD. "Repeating Myself" is a soulful Ty Tabor sung ballad that is beautifully done and runs straight into the thumping "Rocket Ship" which once again expresses the band's indignation at the religious vehicle.

"Alright" is a rocking but hopeful glance back at a happier King's X and sits up there among the best of XV. "One day, it's gonna be, alright . . . " More of this please.

"Go Tell Somebody" starts off with a tasty lick by Ty Tabor and finishes up with some classic King's X vocal harmonies. "Love and Rockets" has a marvelously sinister tone through and through, with a clean chorus that fits nicely between the dark verses.

All in all, this is a dark album full of King's X typical highlights, exquisite harmonies and beautiful melodies. Sadly, only about half of the songs stand out which puts this solidly into a three star rating.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Born from the ashes of the Christian rock group "Petra", King's X was the response from the breakup of one of the band members coming out of the closet. Suddenly, that well loved Christian band didn't want to back up their band anymore. A shame really, Petra was a decent enough band and actually had more progressive leanings than King's X ever would. However, as proven once again in this album "XV", their rock would become harder and somewhat darker.

"XV" is named for the fact that, counting their live releases, this was their 15th official release. As for myself, I am not real familiar with this band, but I was curious how the band would sound considering their legacy. It's a shame that Dug was judged the way he was by a group of people that are told not to judge others. But he would go on making music, which was his love. The music on this album is well produced, but there is not much here (if anything at all) that is progressive. It is hard edged rock, straightforward and based on blues, and it is also made up of some softer ballads. Some of the lyrics are corny, as on "Rocket Ship", "Broke", and "Blue", but there are some first rate rock music here too. They shine the most on the harder edged songs, but even some of those are kind of "washed-out". They do have some harmonies that are nice and reminiscent of "Galactic Cowboys" as in the song "Stuck" which also has a great, but short, guitar solo.

The vocalists are pretty good, they are a fresh difference from most hard, edged bands, but there are times when they suffer too. I am disappointed somewhat that this band has been around for as long as they have, but not much has changed or progressed from their earlier days. Their are some great guitar hooks, but all the songs are short and don't really have a chance to develop much. Choruses are often repetitive and they sound like they were trying to find the right song to be an anthem, but they haven't been able to come up with anything that can be considered a hit, or showstopper. That is another problem, nothing here or really anywhere in their discography stands out. By the time you get to the middle of the album, you are starting to think things sound the same.

So, overall, this is a good album, but not as far as prog terms go. It's pretty standard rock that tries really hard, but doesn't accomplish anything that makes the band stand out. There will be a lot of rockers that would love this, but it's not "different" enough for my liking. 3 stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars XV finds Kings X still blasting out their unique mixture of pop-rock-metal. Opener Pray is a monster of a song, pounding bass, crushing guitar and drums. Dug asking the faithful to pray for him. One of the bands finest songs. Tys standout track is the achingly beautiful repeating myself. Tys ... (read more)

Report this review (#348502) | Posted by devox | Thursday, December 9, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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