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King Nun - 'Mass' Album Review


1. Mascara Runs

2. Chinese Medicine

3. Transformer

4. Cowboy

5. I Saw Blue

6. Black Tree

7. Low Flying Dandelion

8. Sharing A Head With Seth

9. Intravenous

10. Bug

11. A Giant Came Down

Indie punks King Nun have their debut album, ‘Mass’ out in the world on Friday 4th October. It will be on Dirty Hit Records the label that brought you Benjamin Francis Leftwich, PALE WAVES, Wolf Alice and none other than the 1975 to name just a few. The album grabs you by the gonads on the first listen with the mountainous opener “Mascara Runs”, probably my favourite song from the album, although recent single and perhaps one of the finest songs ever to tackle the awful black dog of depression “Black Tree” runs it a close second. Frontman Theo Polyzoides vocals are something very special, encompassing the finest whiney Lydon angry wail from back in the days when he was plain old Johnny Rotten. But more than that he is a little more tuneful than Mr Lydon and occasionally I get a feel for the eclectic, eccentric approach of Jonathan Richman and an attitude steeped in the Libertines. I have always had great respect for British bands and singers that retain their accent when the sing and Theo is most definitely British in his delivery.

There really isn’t a great deal of information available online about this very classy London quartet. But given the strength of their material, very well showcased on this album, that really doesn’t matter. The proto psychedelic “Low Flying Dandelion” is an utter delight which reminds me of the Kinks had they taken more acid than the Beatles. “Sharing A Head With Seth” is apparently a look back at a younger King Nun full of angst, anger and issues, with, I believe, Seth being the nom de plume of the band in the lyrics. Being stuck in a rut of patriarchal masculinity seems to be the subject of “Cowboy” and if I am correct in that assumption it is an incredibly powerful tune. Some songs here, even those with hard lyrics that tackle tough subjects, just made me smile, purely for how great the music is. “I Saw Blue” gives me the impression that there is hardly a cloud in the sky on Planet King Nun.

On “Bug” it sounds like the band have taken the finest moments of the careers of Supergrass and Placebo, yes you heard me correctly, and turned them into something that no one else could do this well. The album closes with an ode to a long forgotten German folk singer, Sibylle Baier. Well maybe long forgotten for some, but not me, I had never heard of her in the first place. The song is called “A Giant Came Down” and it inspired me to check out Baier, you should do the same. The production is impeccable and highlights not only how good a vocalist Theo is, but also just how talented the band are. King Nun are clearly a force to be reckoned with and if ‘Mass’ is a good indicator then they will be around for a long while.

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Review - Bill Adamson

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