Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Catching The King Blues

"Growing up in punk, politics was always an accepted part of music. It was never a conscious thing. That said, we do have an agenda that's quite simple: we want to unite people. We see a lot of dividing and conquering going on in society and that's upsetting us. We're freedom fighters and activists. We want to cross all divisions."

No, the above quote doesn't come from Zack de la Rocha, it comes from Johnny "Itch" Fox, who sings vocals and plays ukulele for the Brit band The King Blues. The group originally formed in 2004, and then got into the big leagues in 2006 with the release of their debut album Under the Fog on the UK's biggest punk label, Household Name. It's done well enough on the other side of the Atlantic that it's getting an American release on March 3rd, and the single for the title track was available earlier this week (on the 25th).

What are those crazy Brits sending us now you might ask? Don't be expecting another Lily Allen or Amy Winehouse. Instead, be prepared for a band that's highly politically charged (listen to Intro below, which kicks off the album - there's no hedging bets here, the band is front and center with their message) at times, and just plain fun at others (Mr. Music Man, the title track - which is available as a single, which includes a remix by fellow UK Punk band Gallows). It's main vein is a laid back reggae groove with a pinch of ska (think Mighty Mighty Bosstones), working class folk protests (The Weavers anyone?), and some dub bass lines here and there to keep you awake and moving.

The boys just don't talk a good game either. They're fairly involved with a large number of community projects around London, hence the lead-off quote. After the US release of their debut, the band is planning on their second album coming out later this year. Check out the following tracks, and look for the album next week.

Visit their website, their label Field Recordings, and become their friend on MySpace


Rage Against the Machine - Freedom (live) : Live At The Grand Olympic Auditorium

The Weavers - If I Had A Hammer : Vanguard Visionaries

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