Wednesday, December 2, 2009

And We're Almost Kings

Some days are just full of amazing surprises. I, for example, discovered the next hip-hop/rock sensation, and it's not even late yet lol. I am, however, psyched to introduce my discovery, Almost Kings. Now, these guys aren't exactly new. They have at least a thousand fans on Facebook, but that won't stop me from writing a damn good article on them. So, with that said, let's jump in to AK.
From right here in Atlanta, Georgia, Almost Kings is composed of Boze (lead vocals), Ryan Yunker (guitar and vocals), Danny Helms (bass and vocals), and Kevin Compton (drums). Blending sick funk-rock rhythms with hardcore metal riffs and blasting hip-hop and rock vocals, AK produce a sound unlike anything I've ever heard, except for perhaps Linkin Park a little bit. Termed by some as "skate-rock," AK's slick new sound blasts the hell out of your ears drums in style, bringing you to your knees and injecting you with a daily dose of rap-rock funk.
The first I listen to on their set-list is "Legend," from their album Filthy Nice. Building on a sick bass line intro by Helms and rhythmic drums from Compton, Yunker shreds his guitar likes there's no tomorrow, and he's only got a few minutes to melt my face off. Meanwhile, Boze's vocals are a mix of Chester Benington and Zach de la Rocha, jabbing at my eyes with the rhythm of Linkin Park and the ferocity of Rage. Helms's bass notes throughout the song are particularly tight and synch with Compton's raging drums perfectly. Among the madness of the rhytm section, Yunker's guitars provide a wall of sheer thrill that drills into my skull and leaves me numb for more. A perfect song if there ever was one, and as I'm sailed home on Boze's vocals, I already know which song from their album will be AK's lead-off single. Sick.
Track two is "Unstoppable," and it is. On this one, we're again built in on Helms's bass notes, but this time they're front and center, and already providing a Geezer Butler effect as Boze counts in with a head-banging vocal rhythm. Then as we get to "tick, tick, BOOM!," Compton's drums bust me up, and Yunker's guitar drills my ears into a bloody mess of happiness and ecstasy. Boze's vocals are more Rage here, and it's almost eery how he goes from LP to Rage so easily. But it's not a Rage ripoff. AK has their own rhythm that will keep you banging your head as hard as you can until your neck breaks off. Fucking fantastic. With a chorus that's sure to have every fucking person in the audience trampling each other as they jump up and down to the rhythm, Boze synchs his voice with Yunker's simple yet blasting riffs. This song is almost like "Bulls on Parade" in its effect to make me want to hit someone. Just stomps you in the throat from start to finish. Brilliant.
After "Unstoppable" I need a break, but no such things exists with these guys. Just as "Unstoppable" ends, I'm thrust into "On Like That," a sick jam that continues the Rage sound with a Linkin Park polish. Even as I type this, my fingers are hitting the keys in perfect rhythm with the guitar. Yunker is more liberal with his riffing here, throwing in some metal notes that remind me more of AC/DC or Disturbed than Linkin Park. Helms pulls a bass line from the earth and whips it around, following Compton's base drum beats, and pushing me over the edge in a perfect storm of rhythm and sound. As Yunker reaches Angus Young levels on the guitar, Boze busies himself with sinking his clear-cut vocals into my skull, and I'm disected by all four as they reach the chorus; Helms taking out my legs with his bass notes, Compton busting my gut with his base drum and high-hats, and Boze taking out my face as Yunker cuts into my heart with his guitar riffs. Another five-star track on what promises to be an incredible album the minute you hit the "Play" button.
The last track on my set-list is "Five Foot Hurricane." Aside from a killer name, this track floors me with a dark bass line by Helms and gut-wrenching drums by Compton. It's a little slower than the others until it gets to the chorus, where it just blasts off, and it's so Linkin Park inspired, I would almost mistake this for Linkin Park. But then I hear Yunker's guitar riffing blasting through the speakers, and Boze's vocals on top of the tapestry of sound and madness, and this is so unique that it can only be Almost Kings. An incredible song to finsh the set-list with, I hope it's played when I go see these guys at the end of January. They'll be home again on Jan. 30th, and I'll eat my shoes before missing these guys in concert. It'll be the only time I get to see them for less than $40, because by this time next year, they'll be doing Gwinette Arena no sweat. Keep your eyes out for these guys. A for-sure opening act on Linkin Park's next tour, and one that can definitely hold their own. Absolutely sick.

Sounds Like: Linkin Park, Rage Against the Machine, Faith No More, Primus

Key Tracks from Filthy Nice: "Legend," "Five Foot Hurricane," "Unstoppable," "On Like That"

Check out Almost Kings more at: and

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