Monday, October 12, 2015

EP Review :: The King's Parade - Vagabond

The King's Parade


September 25  2015 (self release)


Words: Richard O’Hagan

If we gave marks for disturbingly over the top press releases, then The King’s Parade would already be scoring 11 out of 10. Frankly, though, comparing yourselves to Hamburg-era Beatles is fine if you are, well the Beatles, but for a band who came together working on a cruise ship, it is an impossibly high reach and in all honesty, TKP are nowhere near close.

The plaintive strains of the title track are acceptable enough, with Olly Corpe’s voice doing a nice, radio friendly impression of that Irish chap who keeps singing about wanting to be taken to church. There’s even a teen-friendly lyric about feeling alone since the age of 17 (any plugger who can’t get this broadcast ought to be sacked on the spot); unfortunately, two thirds of what follows can’t live up to that opening.

Although ‘Silhouettes’ was released as a single, that doesn’t make it any good. To compound things, the lyrical savviness goes AWOL on ‘Belsize Lane’, resulting in lazy couplets rhyming ‘lane’ with ‘insane’ in a way which is, ironically, utterly maddening. Closer - and the other track to have been released as a single - ‘Bunched Up Letters’ is by far the strongest track here, highlighting their blues-pop crossover at its best. The band take things up a notch and get back on the right track lyrically, with lines such as "Living the dreams of a music man" likely to strike a chord with every struggling musician. Or, indeed, those working on cruise ships.

The real problem with ‘Vagabond’ is that it actually is music for cruise ships. It is, on the whole, too nice, too safe, not soulful enough to be soul or bluesy enough to be blues. The King’s Parade have fallen between a whole galley full of stools and yet still ended up nowhere.

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