The Doug Pinnick / Ty Tabor / Jerry Gaskill trio are living a certainly productive time in their career, having released, in a reasonably short lapse of barely three years, Please Come Home... Mr. Bulbous, Manic Moonlight and this “Black Like Sunday” which we'll comment.
Besides, we must remember both Ty Tabor solo albums, the passable “Moonflower Lane” and “Safety”, and other side projects such as Platypus and The Jelly Jam, which produced their fusion with another illustrous workaholics like Dream Theater.
Their new work gathers everything they've learned after all these experiences, and melts it with their traditional sound, established after a long and prolific trajectory. So, we have a generous (14 tracks) compendium of King's X style, where we can find plain pop melodies performed through a powerful instrumentation, with metal resonances and a raw and straight sound, without virtuoso displays or production pirouettes. This is all about songs, which rarely exceed the three minute format, boosted by Doug Pinnick's characteristic voice (although all three members sing on the record).
There's room for everything: a "Let It Be" remake, from their beloved Beatles, called "Danger Zone"; spoken songs like the rhythmical "Dreams", powerful percussions on the sinuous "Screamer" (whit some reminiscences from, believe it or not, the Steve Miller Band).
"Down" adds some mellowness, with gentle instrumentation and a more melodical voice than usual. A good ballad, undoubtedly. Energy returns with "Won't Turn Back", an almost hardcore track with prominent pop choruses (it's like mixing the Beach Boys with the Sex Pistols, or something similar).
Exception is called "Johnny", the only really long song (11'40) on the record. The first half is like the rest of the Cd, adding some reggae influences. Later, the track evolves into an instrumental jam, quite interesting, in spite of, lamentably, lacking resolution. All lessons learned with Platypus are evident here, and probably this is the song that allows us to relate this record with the "progressive" concept.
For the rest, this is an average work, without surprises, maybe victim of some creative saturation, that continues their tradition of balancing melodic / electric and a taste for accessible melodies so characteristic from King's X, a band that gave their best on records like “Out Of The Silent Planet” or “Gretchen Goes To Nebraska”, some years ago.
For the fetishistic, “Black Like Sunday” includes additional multimedia tracks, where you can find song lyrics, a video (really dreadful; sorry) and a generous and excellent photo collection taken from their live shows.