King’s X

In the New Age: The Atlantic Recordings 1988-1995
King’s X

Absurdly talented – and eternally misunderstood – King’s X was always on the cusp of stardom. This box set with bonus tracks deftly documents their blend of Beatlesque pop, Rush-like progressive, proto-grunge, and Christian themes showcasing frontman/bassist Doug Pinnick and drop-D maven Ty Tabor.

King’s X’s early albums are FM classics; listen to “Goldilox” for Tabor’s clean, flanged arpeggios and power chords. From Gretchen Goes to Nebraska, “Summerland” has a throaty Tabor solo over Pinnick’s chunky bass, while 1990’s “It’s Love” is radio-ready crunch with vocal harmonies. An extended “Six Broken Soldiers” brings an epic, soaring finale; “Lost in Germany” displays King’s X’s gift for the deep rhythm pocket, yet never loses the riffs.

King’s X also embraced funky alt-metal, as on the single “Dogman,” which was in heavy rotation on MTV. While still not a hit, it reveals the trio’s influence on ’90s rockers like Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam. A faithful cover of Hendrix’s “Manic Depression” closed the Dogman album, and this set adds a bonus live take on “Shoes.” While this box doesn’t break much new ground, it reminds us that King’s X was – and still is – an incredible band.

This article originally appeared in VG’s June 2023 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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