Comprised of Tyson Kelly (Guitar, Piano, Vocals), George Krikes (Guitar, Vocals), Billy Lee (Bass, Vocals), and Lucas Ventura (Drums), King Washington return with their eclectic sophomore album, “The Overload” on August 27, 2013. After taking a small break from the Los Angeles limelight, King Washington rekindled in the spring of 2013 and threw themselves back into the studio to begin crafting and recording the tracks that would become “The Overload.” Produced and mixed by Alex Pfender and recorded at The Exchange Studios in Milwaukee, WI (with engineers Kevin Arndt, Tim Curtis and owner and Co-Executive Producer Joe Puerta), “The Overload” is a kinetic, high energy burst of rock n’ roll with a retro soul, yet modern in all the right ways. It’s quintessential King Washington, exposing their love for thick walls of vocal harmonies and expertly crafted songs and instrumentation that rockets the listener to another world. “The Overload” is lyrically honest and authentic, chock full of everything that King Washington fans are hoping for, and new listeners will immediately fall in love with.
The album gets off to an elusive and atmospheric start with the title track “The Overload.” A slow building pulse of a track, it features haunting vocal harmonies and an unbelievably explosive chorus. Doused in electric guitar tingling’s and slamming drums, it’s the perfect introductory track, giving the listener a full blown idea of who King Washington is, and exactly what they’re capable of doing. From the grooving breakdown to the rising harmony that infiltrates the dissonant sound of the song around every corner, it sets the tone for what’s to follow. Next up is the dynamic “Land Without Age,” a telling insight into what it’s like to hang on to youth with vigor and hope, even as you watch it fade away. Krikes’ voice aches with sorrow and soars with fascination over each of the choruses, expertly building right along with the blistering instrumental track beneath him. A dynamic wonder, the drums bang and fade throughout the verses, only to set themselves on fire when the chorus hits. On guitar, you experience something of an Eagles style finger picking, adding to the heaviness of the topic with its outlandish vibe. King Washington take on the loaded topic of love, particularly the at-first-sight kind, on “Terrible Affection.” They build yearning into the very sound, from the straining electric guitar to the drum that seems to thump like a nervous heart, while their spot on harmonies soar with frustration in the eclectic chorus. The story of seeing someone on stage and instantly wanting them, thinking about them, and doing whatever you can to get them despite what it does to you, is conveyed with distinction and youth.
Their first single off the album, “Don’t Expect My Love” is a wild throwback to the days of Bowie and Queen, with swooping harmonies and a mainstream ready groove. It’s all attitude, with a wit that matches the thrashing beat, giving listeners a track they can move to as well as sing along. While the song remains uniquely full of King Washington flavor, its hooks are both modern and unforgettable, proving they’re a band that can hold their own in this radio-centric world. On ”If You Wanna Get High” they highlight their ability to craft upbeat, hook-focused music, pulling away from the roots-y and authentic feel found throughout most of the album. It rambles right into a retro pop feel, where they continue to remain true to the music of the past, while allowing their lyrics and production to bring them into the modern age. Tyson brings his rhythmic vocal qualities to life, injecting a whole new level of fun into the grooving beat, right along with the instrumentation. It’s a track full of positivity, all about embracing the day and never taking life for granted. One of the stand out moments on the album is “Old Highway 9”, originally the b-side to their single “Don’t Expect My Love,” it managed to make its way onto the album. It has a vintage, organic feel, with a budding acoustic guitar battling it out with the haunting electric sound that weaves itself throughout the instrumentation. An anthem about embracing your past and where you come from, it’s a ballad that doesn’t leaving you wanting more. The swooping chorus captures you from the first note and immediately forces you to embrace the loneliness within. Never one to forgo tasteful vocal harmonies, they are an intricate part of the harrowing quality of this track, well placed and perfectly executed.
There’s not a single sleeper on King Washington’s “The Overload.” It’s a perfectly crafted album that never strays from the bands distinct point-of-view. It remains effortlessly rooted in rock n’ roll’s golden age, while finding its rightful place in today’s musical landscape. The album is just familiar enough for listeners to feel comfortable that they aren’t being left behind while the songs tell secrets, but always unexpected enough to where they won’t see it coming. Be sure to pick-up a copy at your first opportunity when the album is released August 27, 2013.