Black Like Sunday is a collection of long forgotten King’s X material that the band recently dug up and re-recorded. Black Like Sunday is also the reason that some things that are long forgotten should stay long forgotten. King’s X’s latest release has so many problems to discuss that it’s hard to decide where to start.
Fans of the band who have grown to love the trio’s unique sound of interesting guitar riffs, progressive basswork and Beatle-esque vocal harmonies will be confused from the word go. Musically, the songs on Black Like Sunday aren’t just bad, they’re boring and lacking any foresight or planning. There’s not a catchy riff or hook to be found anywhere.
Doug Pinnick, according to the band’s website, is 54 years old. That makes hearing songs like “Danger Zone” all the more embarassing. “Mom says she don’t understand, says I’m just a problem child, I’m always gettin’ into trouble, I hurt her all the time. But I don’t know who I am, and sometimes I don’t understand, we get in a lot of fights, then I’m on the street again.” Assuming Pinnick’s mother had him when she was 21, that would make Mrs. Pinnick 75 years old at this point — it’s time to throw the boy out, ma’am. “Rock Pile” reads like it was written by a bored junior high student in detention. “All of us rockers, keep pushing on. We rise, then we fall. No one stays on top forever, what goes up must come down.” Even “Dreams”, one of the heavier songs on the disc, has this earth shattering revelation; “Dreams do come true, yeaaaaaaah yeaaaaaah.” Thank you, Kermit.
The icing on the cake is the disc’s production. At best, it sounds like an old cassette tape. Much of the vocals have that “I’m singing through a cheap mic” effect. Maybe they were. The drums have no punch at all, and the guitars aren’t the wall of sound I’m used to hearing from the King’s.
A few of the songs on the disc, like “Bad Luck”, show minor hints of what was to come from the band. The rest of the song is a jumbled mess of bad songs with bad production. “Save Us”, the last song on the disc, and a punk influenced track that contains a solo so bad that I wondered if someone didn’t get injured while recording it. Instead of words of wisdom, the band leaves us with a minute of “Na na na na, hey hey hey hey.” Change that to “No no no no, way way way way,” and you’ve summed up my reaction.