Black Like Sunday

King's X

Metal Blade, 2003

REVIEW BY: Benny Balneg

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 09/18/2006

"Cleaning out the bins" is another way of saying that you’re taking the trash out from the trashcan. Remember the spoiled milk that you threw out a month ago? How about the underwear that you decided to throw away because of the crusty feel in your crotch after years of laboring with it? There’s a big chance that it’s probably thrown out along with the other trash that you’ve collected for how long. After throwing out the trash, look inside the bin and see the molds forming on its corners. Gross.

In music, cleaning out the bins would also mean the same thing, although the word ‘bin’ would sometimes be replaced by ‘vault’ just to make it sound cool, which it really isn’t (except for bim_ad_daily_vault_print_250
The Daily Vault, of course.) When a band delivers a press release stating that they’ll come up with an album containing their songs from the ‘vault,’ they’ll actually be releasing the songs of yesteryears that were cut from their previous albums, and songs that were not recorded on any other album because it sucked (but the band won’t admit it). These kinds of albums only appeal to hardcore fans of the band, so this stuff is more of a collector’s item.

With this said, most of these things can be applied to King’s X’s 2003 release, Black Like Sunday. From the onset, the bulk of the material from Black Like Sunday is simply not up to snuff where the tunes are not reflective of what the band actually sounds like. The album is primarily guitar-driven, but contains little of the inspired melodies that the band is known for. Songs like “You’re The Only One” and “Working Man” are too straight-forward and campy.

The naked upfront lyrics are also painfully evident with the songs, especially the cringe-inducing number “Danger Zone” (“I’m a man and I’m a boy / and I want to be happy / but my life’s not a toy / somebody help me / I’m living in a danger zone.”)

However, unlike other vault-cleaning albums, Black Like Sunday is still enjoyable as the listeners are able to get a glimpse of the band during its formative years. Although the songs display raw songwriting, the promise of lush melodies and catchy hooks are pretty evident with most of their compositions.

“Dreams” is one of the better songs of the album, which has a bass-driven verse and throws into a groovy, singable chorus that grabs the listener repeatedly. As always, the performance is tight, and the songs have benefited from the band playing together throughout the years. The production is also able to bring a warm, yet loose arena-rock feel, evidenced on the hard-rocking title track, “Screamer” and “Johnny.”

Black Like Sunday is meant to interest hardcore fans of the band. Beginners would be better off purchasing Gretchen Goes to Nebraska or Faith Hope Love first before delving deeper into their discography.

Rating: C

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© 2006 Benny Balneg and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Metal Blade, and is used for informational purposes only.