The King Blues - Save the World, Get the Girl (Cover Artwork)

The King Blues

The King Blues: Save the World, Get the GirlSave the World, Get the Girl (2008)
Universal Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: chrisafichrisafi
(others by this writer | submit your own)

The King Blues' second album is a followup to 2006's well-received debut, Under the Fog, one of the best underground releases of that specific year (so much so it was re-released on a bigger label in 2007). Under the Fog gave a slightly messy mix of ska, reggae and classic, straight-up, 'fuck you' p.
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The King Blues' second album is a followup to 2006's well-received debut, Under the Fog, one of the best underground releases of that specific year (so much so it was re-released on a bigger label in 2007). Under the Fog gave a slightly messy mix of ska, reggae and classic, straight-up, 'fuck you' punk, with an a cappella track chucked in halfway through, just for good measure. The hope for this album was that the band wuld really find their own sound with some consistency across the entire release. That's no easy task for a band with six members and a lead singer with a thick working class London accent who plays the ukulele. And that's not the only somewhat 'un-punk' instrumentals that crop up; one member of the band is entirely devoted to alternative percussion, so there's plenty of violin, an array of brass, something I thought was an accordion, but I am reliably told is actually a melodica, and even an electronic backing track crops up on the final track.

So the King Blues are a little bit unorthodox and it whilst it certainly made them stand out, it also was a hindrance to their sound. But no longer. This band have now found their sound and, most importantly, it's pretty fucking damn sweet. The songs on this album can be broken down into two pretty solid categories: girls/love and punk/politics. Just like 99% of everyone else, granted, but this band's sound means that Save the World, Get the Girl is one of the most interesting and listenable releases in a while.

The album opens with "My Boulder" and "I Got Love" and you're guaranteed to come out the other side in a better mood than you entered, with two very catchy and upbeat tunes. Later on, in much the same vein comes "Let's Hang the Landlord," a hugely uplifting song about life, friends and punk, set to a frantic pace and a gang-chanted chorus that pretty much sums this band up to a tee.

"The Schemers, The Scroungers..." is a song dedicated to the unemployed (most of this band have never had a job, and met living together in a squat), which can be summed up by the lyric, "I'm all for workers rights and that, as long as I don't have to work." However, even if you perhaps don't buy into the politics, you'll find yourself humming it anyway.

"Underneath this Lampost Light" is essentially a classic punk ballad that you've probably heard umpteen times before, but this version has a brilliant set of quintessentially English lyrics: "Kiss me underneath this lamppost light, I know it smells o'piss but, you look beautiful tonight." And all to a beautiful instrumentation of a violin and a ukele.

Finally, closing track "What If Punk Never Happened" is a track which everyone should hear. It almost comes across as a cheesy Eminem-esque track, but to be honest, it's a song where the words are the important bit. At over six minutes long, it is essentially a long poem, with no repetition or chorus, but a constant spew of fantastic lyrics about what the world would be like without punk -- a critique of politics, power, Thatcher and Reagan, hippies, and an appraisal of punk culture. I won't divulge any more, but if you consider yourself a punk rock boy or girl, you will relate to it and find it uplifting, if not inspirational.

I could carry on, but I won't, my drift I hope will have been gotten; this band is excellent, new and exciting, and I urge you to check them out. This band is now, rightly, taking off in the underground scene and this release makes it obvious why. This album gives you a lot back; it's beautiful ("Out of Luck"), uplifting ("I Got Love"), has plenty of 'fuck you' punk goodness ("These Streets Are Ours"), and plenty of eccentric, new sounds and instrumental mixes you probably wouldn't expect to get ("For You My Darling"). And the lyrics are excellent to boot, as lead singer Johnny Fox is loud, funny, caustic and enthralling throughout. It's not very often a British punk band comes along and really excites me these days, but the King Blues are definitely top of the pile at the moment.

So, what are you waiting for? You can stream a whole bunch of this bands stuff from their website, including "What If...".

So go listen.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
londonpunk (May 16, 2009)

Right. Obviously, yes, Britain is a smaller country and few British bands 'make it' in the States. However, the punk scene in London and the UK is fucking amazing at the moment, I can say this a punk gig organiser myself. The King Blues are probably the biggest name to come out of it, but here is a list of other bands related to what they're doing, all of whom are fucking great and should be listened to. Also, I love American punk rock too, but I am British so these bands mean *slightly* more to me:

Suicide Bid. Sonic Boom Six. The Skints. Babylon Whackers. Moral Dilemma. The Filaments. Babar Luck. Mouthwash. Random Hand. Anonymous Tip. Dirty Revolution. The Apostates. The Shitty Limits. Milloy. Neil Sutherland & Friends. Apologies, I Have None. Inner Terrestrials. and many more...

jon_shoe (November 18, 2008)

problem is, the UK has been prone to thinking that the only real bands are American ones. The other scenes (indie, dance whatever) are happy to survive as independent from the States or wherever, but British punk is to No Idea and Fat Wreck what Blair was to Bush. Those are great labels, but they're nothing to do with us. I don't like this band, but at least they're not trying to be American

blanktapesemptybottles (November 17, 2008)

Well that's what Fest is for and, that's what you get Britain for birthing the Beatles.

chrisafi (November 17, 2008)

I don't think this is even really a punk thing, british music in general has completely failed to puncture the states since the 1980's, and whilst a few huge stadium bands (Muse in particular) have crept in a little bit, that rule still sticks.

As a result, the chances of a British punk band going huge in the States anytime soon is nigh on remote, despite the Gallows/Warner Brothers best efforts

INDW (November 17, 2008)

yeah you're absolutely right - as far as touring bands go we are spoiled and life is hardly bad. Further, there are a few pretty decent bands out there (i just named a few a couple of posts down), but there just really aren't any killer british bands out there at the minute. Just look how many are reviewed on the .org. very few. i would guess more from florida (fro example) so i'm not sure the size argument really holds. Leatherface (who spend more time in the states than the UK btw) are a good example; I'm not complaining that we haven't got a new clash, just some really class bands of that leatherface stature, the kind household name used to chuck out.

blanktapesemptybottles (November 17, 2008)

here's a list of punk bands from England that I listen to: No Choice, Leatherface, OK Pilot, Former Cell Mates, Dauntless Elite, Chillerton, You Me and the Atom Bomb, The Slowdance, and Consumed, I'm sure there's more that I forgot but for a full list of everything I listen to check my myspace www.myspace.com/knowingisdisappointing, I mean I live in RI and there's no scene either one of the biggest clubs just closed here, so yeah no scene sucks but I do get that a country lacking a scene sucks too but your country is pretty small compared to ours, does that make any sense? Just be happy music exists or start your own punk band if you're that upset about it, shit I'll try to tour overseas eventually but who the fuck really knows, at least you get great tours right?

INDW (November 17, 2008)

well i think that household name counts as at least medium-large?

I'm not just trying to be awkward here, honestly. i just struggle to see this 'scene' that a couple of you are suggesting is right beneath my eyes. i'm not claiming to be into the scene that heavily but there seem to be about 4 bands on rote for the american support slots. these dudes are fine but in the main, they're hardly groundbreaking or awe inspiring.

deathisastar (November 17, 2008)

Let's be honest here, it's not a matter of 'British punk bands coming along and exciting you', it's different here, there are no large, or medium sized punk labels, only tiny ones. So if you think that the King Blues and Gallows are the only punk bands doing anything you should look a little deeper and you'll probably find more amazing bands than you'd have time to listen to.

INDW (November 17, 2008)

I have to say blanktapes that you clearly live in a more productive part of the country than I if you can be that positive. While I previously mentioned all idols fall and while there are a few other bands I don't really mind seeing on a line-up (king blues, random hand) I see nothing close to great coming by. In fact I went to the 'best of british' tour a while back featuring SBS, king blues, mouthwash and someone else and it was just depressing. the BEST of british? if that is the case we're in fairly dire straights.

p.s. obviously there is the odd bright spot if we broaden our horizons a little. frank turner has the potential to be very very good.

swiftjustice (November 16, 2008)

so do they think theyre better than midtown or what?

blanktapesemptybottles (November 16, 2008)

to dktr, you need to get out, the UK is producing some really great punk bands, check out rat patrol recrords and my friends OK Pilot

essenceoftong (November 16, 2008)

definately one of 2008's best albums.

NoSpace (November 16, 2008)

great record, not as good as under the fog though.

such nice guys, they played in the street for me and my friend last september when we couldnt get into their show.

definitely deserve as much praise as possible, theyre an awesome band.

INDW (November 15, 2008)

while preaching that the saviour is coming is a bit of a dodgey game at the best of times, i think that All Idols Fall are possibly the band that dktr is looking for. maybe? certainly got more about them than goddamn sonic boom six

dktr (November 15, 2008)

Lightyear's split up and the first King Blues album signified the end of everything that was good about the UK punk scene at the time: it was a bloody terrible album, they were a bloody terrible band.

Listening to their new stuff on myspace, it sounds like they've turned into a Clash/Rancid midpaced Sarrrf Laandaaan group and given up their horrible ska thing by and large. It couldn't have been much worse than the first album, but I still think the support behind this band is just everybody desperately clinging onto the UK punk scene having some worth. Which is rubbish because it's been kack for a while now. We need some new blood and these guys aren't going to provide it.

tommytumult (November 15, 2008)

I'm stoked to hear this album. I've got Under the Fog on vinyl and really love it. If they press this one as well, I'll be up for grabbing it.

chrisafi (November 14, 2008)

I apologise for the typos in this, I suck at proofreading

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