Sunday, March 15, 2020

King Dude : " Full Virgo Moon"

King Dude's new album finds him once again embracing change. It opens with more atmosphere and introspection than the normal foreboding. He sings in a lighter and higher register than his normally grim baritone. Nick Darke or  Syd Barrett would both be reasonable comparison by the time we are the title track. It sounds like a misty morning out side of London.The lighter shades that color these songs might take some getting adjusted to if you are wanting his darker more Johnny Cash like sound.Lighter shades doesn't mean the songs are upbeat or happy. They are neither. There is no whimsy to be found.  There is a more vulnerable tone to these songs. The arrangement are very minimal. Normally vocals, guitars and some synth in the background. "Forty Fives Say 666" is a return to not only his more traditional sound but that of his earlier work.  Think "Lucifer's ther Light of the World " here.

There is a marginally more upbeat strum to " the Satanic Temple". It sounds a little like he is taking jabs at the hipster organization. With lines like "it's a just a mark it don't mean shit to the kids who know they invented it". and "a static god is just a monolith".   I think it is one of the more lyrically interesting songs so far on the album. "Forgive My Sins" is more stripped down to  piano and what sound to be a violin in the distance. His is down in his trademark baritone for this one.  I like the pervading sense of melancholy. I normally wish my favorite artists remain in a sense of tortured misery so they can put it into their music. I think TJ is a good guy so do not wish him misery and glad he can find the place to go to on his own to create this mood. There is more of a Death in June like strum to "Make Me Blind" which I am a fan of.

Then sparse arrangements and a greater sense of ambiance washes over the last two songs. The hushed ballad "a Funeral Song for Atheists" unfolds. I like the lyrics to this one. It's pretty minimal piano chord progression. "Something About You" could very easily show up on an episode of twin peaks with it's surreal shadows . It's pretty simplistic, but works for what he is doing .  I will give this album a 9, it is a mature solid effort from him and provides a fitting mood to today's grim times.

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