This is the third album from King’s X following “Out of the silent planet” (1988) and “Gretchen goes to Nebraska” (1989).
For me Kings X were the most original band in the late 80’s / early 90’s. This and “Gretchen” are real classics. From the very start the guitar and bass riffs are bold and melodic and the vocals (both lead and backing) are just sheer brilliance.
The opening track (“We are finding who we are”) is melodic hard rock at it’s best with great changes in timing and complex arrangements of instruments and vocals. From there it just gets better, in fact the opening 5 tracks offer as much diversity and musicianship that it just reminds me 16 years on how unbelievable it all sounded. Certainly `We are finding…”, and “It’s Love” were catchy enough to be listened to a larger radio audience and the beauty in “Fine Art of Friendship” and “Mr Wilson” showcased a band capable of creating new and diverse soundscapes that for me at the time were real “Wow” factors. “Moanjam” is a real out and out rocker, followed by a real highlight “Six Broken Soldiers” where again the vocal arrangements and overall musicianship have to be heard to be believed. The 9 minute plus “Faith, Hope Love” is yet another highlight, the band producing a real tension filled epic.
Overall I look back at the early 90’s and whilst I enjoyed the bulk of Living Color’s “Vivid” album from 1988, a fair chunk of Faith No More’s “Epic” release from 1990, most of Mother Lovebone, Temple of the Dog, and subsequently Pearl Jam’s first two releases (“10″ 1991 and V’s 1993), it is this album and “Gretchen” that I return to more often than anything else from this time period.
Whilst Genesis and Rush were “my bands” of the 70’s and early 80’s (plus the bulk of Jethro Tull and 70’s Kansas) and Marillion (plus Simple Minds, Waterboys, Big Country and U2) took most of my attention in the mid 80’s, it is Kings X (and a couple of years later Dream Theater) that sums up my memories of the early 90’s best of all. “Faith, Hope, Love” I come back to many times and it’s always a refreshing listen, just so original, complex, melodic, passionate and…. those vocal harmonies…. tremendous.
I certainly enjoy this album as much today as I did back in 1990, I hope that if you do decide to get it that you enjoy it as well, it’s superb.