King Finn, Photo: Misa Rox

 

I’m a stickler for rules that I attempt to live by.  Sometimes those rules are well meaning but not always the best way to conduct day to day life.  One rule I’ve tried to stick to is seeing a band live before reviewing their album, so I can keep things as “real” as possible.  There was an album that came out earlier this year from Houston indie pop rock five piece, King Finn that I wish I had bent that rule for.  It took a good while for me to see them live, and when I finally did, I was mad that I didn’t get to “As Part of Me” sooner than now.  There’s something about how these guys write a song where they know how to incorporate a hook as well as they can write lyrics or craft a melody.  It’s definitely, one of the best records from the genre that I’ve heard in a good while.

 

Things kick off with the title track, “As Part Of Me,” where the band uses a spacey intro that’s met with two guitar tracks that encompass beauty and ferocity without bleeding your ears.  When the song gets going the melody drops and the lyrics come in strong and on point.  The song could easily be one of those you’d hear on major market radio if radio actually paid attention to new music.  They follow this up with the catchiest track on the album, “Be, More” where from start to finish, the song sounds like something you’d hear from a band ten times King Finn’s size.  The vocals contain a stutter that actually adds to the song’s allure much like The Who did with “My Generation.”  The chorus is just as catchy as the verse, and the structure of the song feels like that band has their sights set higher than just another local band.  The band slows down the pace on “Golden” but keeps the hooks strong while stretching their musical legs on the third song.

 

However, the fourth track, “Bond” brings back the intricate guitar and the pop that the band gave you on the first two tracks.  Though the song is slower as well, the spirit of the faster stride is present, and the proggy elements make the song hit harder than you’d expect it to.  By the fifth song, “Invincible,” you should realize that this band is one you should pay attention to.  Structured similar to how a song by Mutemath would be, the epic nature of the chorus alone is something that should grab your attention while it holds it at the same time.  The happy go lucky nature of the track gets your head bopping while the band trucks along.  They close things out with the sing song and upbeat nature of “(This Is Not) the End.”  Though the song reminds you like a song from the second wave of emo at the beginning, the group quickly forges their own path after the first couple of seconds, and makes it their own.  They keep the attention level high while the vocals pepper the track like a seasoning for something you’d ingest, and make you understand why vocalists count their voices as an instrument.

 

The ending result is an album that mixes hard rock, pop rock, and hints of progressive rock into a sound that’s unique to the band.  There are easily tracks that you’ll want to hear again and again, while there are others that stick with you after the initial listen.  You can grab your own copy of “As Part of Me” at all of the usual digital outlets, or pick one up in person when the band plays an acoustic set at Notsuoh on Friday December 18th.  The show has doors at 8:00 and has a $5.00 cover, unless you have a Star Wars ticket stub, in which case it’s FREE.