Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Review: King Washington “The Gears”

Several years ago, the L.A.-based band King Washington impressed us with their debut EP, “Grenadine” (review here). On June 5, the band will release the first full-length record called “The Gears”, which builds from the acclaimed sound they managed to capture on “Grenadine” – a cross between the Beatles and Beach Boys with a hint of angst.

King Washington consists of Tyson Kelly (guitars/vocals), George Krikes (guitars/vocals), Dylan Cronin (bass/vocals), and Kyle Turek (drums/vocals). As you will notice, all of these guys lend vocal support, which explains the abundance of lush harmonies throughout each song – one of the key things you are sure to remember about King Washington. Together with their knack for moody melodies, the amazing harmonies create an otherworldly listening experience. At times you will feel like you’re back in the 60s, but then the next track sounds unequivocally contemporary. Helping with the creation of this atmospheric sound palate is Grammy-Award winning producer Joe Puerta (Ambrosia, Bruce Hornsby).

By far and away, the stand out track is the lead off and title track, “The Gears” – what a terrific creation. Soaring vocals surrounded by melodious guitar riffs usually make for a memorable listening experience, but what puts this song over the top is a catchy hook. While little else on the record made such an immediate impression, there are some gems here that surface after a few spins. Breezy verses flank an uplifting chorus on “Fourth Of July” and the witty “Bawl and Chain” masterfully incorporates 70s rock influences. The mandolin adds a nice touch to the syncopated beat that propels “Anybody Home”.

If you’re in the mood for something mellow, try “Right On”, “IGBR”, or “Fancy.” The subtle arrangements of these tunes make the harmonies stand out even more, at times reminding me of Crosby, Stills, and Nash.

King Washington should appeal to music fans spanning across 4 decades – check them out for a unique listening experience that you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere else today.

King Washington – Official site.

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