Tell ‘Em Lies by Three Kings High (EP)
This six-piece Bristol outfit impress with an EP that mixes up influences from rock, soul, funk, hip-hop and more besides…
hree Kings High are a reviewer’s dream – and a reviewer’s nightmare. A dream, because they’re that rarest of commodities – a band who don’t actually sound much like anyone else out there. A nightmare, because how do you explain that? There’s certainly no simple elevator-pitch ‘X meets Y’ way of describing this lot… so let’s take the EP track-by-track and see how we get on.
The ‘pick yourself up, dust yourself down and start again’ tale Back gets the ball rolling, opening with freakbeat organs before lead vocalist Joe ‘Chattabox’ Eden starts spittin’ out a vaguely Plan B-ish chorus over the top. For the verses, you then get two-part (male/female) soul vocals, all interspersed with some rawk n’ roll fretboard histrionics. Told you this wasn’t going to be straightforward!
Bad News once again draws on organ-driven freakout skank but adds a clap-along ‘la-la-la-la’ chorus that 101 ‘festival indie’ pretenders would kill for, while Nothin’ New sees all three of the band’s vocalists swapping lines atop a musical backdrop that’s got the dynamics of a big band show tune paired with a little of the sleazy grind of Blood Sugar-era Chili Peppers.
And then finally we come to the EP’s title track, which plays with car chase funk and 60s TV theme tune tropes while Joe berates faker MCs in fast-chat style over the top – not because he’s more gangsta than they are, but for the negative social effects of their glamourising a violent, money-obsessed lifestyle that’s not even their own reality. “Why would you tell ’em lies?” he ponders aloud in the chorus, as the rest of the band join him in multi-part harmony.
Already a firm fave on the Bristol gigging circuit, this second EP from Three Kings High disappoints in only one respect – namely that live, they’re even better. Bigger things surely await.
Verdict: An outstanding EP from a truly genre-defying band