Hard Reviews 4
by Martin Popoff

King Me - About Life

Odd one here, this Wichita, Kansas band sounding like a cross between King's X, Soul Asylum and an interesting miasma messabout in metal, hardcore, nu-metal, even prog metal and traces of mid to late '90s alt.metallers like Bush and Seven Mary Three. Which makes for a cool, enigmatic spin, somewhat akin to Britain's Moke, using the tools of metal in a singer-songwriter-ish way with very cool lyrics that swing between humour and biting, intelligent poetry. Production-wise, King Me's sound is thick, warm, simple, always flowing through a torrent of lush, sympathetic guitars, topped with clean (too nice?) vocals that often group for flawless harmonies. As far as Kansas goes, call these guys the throne usurper to an often absent Paw, even if King Me go less for bite and more for eclectic Spock's Beard-isms (I love Paw. King Me will never beat Paw). I could see these guys doing well in an ecstatic, emotional Dave Matthews jam world sort of way, although it's a little white bread cozy for me. Contact www.kingmenet.com for more info.
Rating 7

The Bad Wizard - Free And Easy
(Tee Pee)

I'm really digging this slow creep away from the growing pile of stoner clichˇs towards guitars that sound like freight trains and boogies that wooger like Nashville Pussy and Hammerlock and Zeke. The Bad Wizard are a NYC-via-Athens, Georgia act that have that large crowd participation sparklegroove down pat, blasting considerably hi-fi through an energy-drenched batch of party rockers that sound like rubber-burning AC/DC crossed with Ted Nugent and that whole retro-Detroit punk thing. But they do it well, with a number of speeds, ferocious drum pockets (see 'Natural High' and 'Come On') and a vocalist that sounds like he's blown an octave and is caught flapping between two or three of them between gargles of hi-test. Much better than Bad Lizard's Power Of Destruction (Roadrunner '85).
Rating 8

Hard Reviews Page 5