Likeable? Listenable? Sure. But there’s nothing really ‘Pow! Right in the kisser!’ about KINGS’ new album “Never Alone”, as much as you’d hope there’d be given the potential they begin within opener ‘Stand Up’. It’s a pleasant addition to the hardcore repertoire, but there’s nothing that really makes KINGS stand out from the rest, save for one or two exceptions.
The album’s title track is a brief and beautiful interlude demonstrative of the romance and pensiveness possible in the genre. It’s a surprise interjection, one that hints at a possible lurching drop into the remaining tracks – unfortunately, KINGS fall back on the relative mediocrity we’ve already heard – that is until closer ‘Saved’. The band totally pull away from synthesised effects and hammering drum lines for a decidedly more mellow closer, and it’s quite a nice touch.
Similarly, ‘What Flag Are you Flying?’ is the perfect balance of melodic and heavy vocals – this is what KINGS are best at. This track and the aforementioned are the clear standouts in the release. Three tracks of outstanding quality nestled among another eight which are neither here nor there.
It’s not bad per se, it’s just that with such a tight sound and line-up, KINGS are on the edge of the cliff and they’re at a point where they could either tip over that edge to fall, or to fly.