The Return of the Sun Kings
Sam Hart from KEXP
Referring to their music as Psychedelic Shamanistic Madness, Seattle’s Kingdom of the Holy Sun have carved out a sound steeped in vintage garage sensibility. Building upon their past releases, with The Return of the Sun Kings, the band has achieved a uniquely rich organic connection with each instrument an essential ingredient in achieving a majestic internal coherence. Today’s featured song, “Getting Higher”, is the album’s midpoint and a full-bodied THC-induced workout. Carried rhythmically with its head nodding backbeat, the track quickly opens up to a wall of tasty phychedelic sound, dipped in a drastic elements while keeping a consistent melodic heart. Breaking the surface in hazy string drenched sunshine, the loving bite of guitars and laissez faire vocals keep the track invigoratingly fresh and full of yesteryear wonder, like a stoned teenage memory.
Nathan Ford at The Active Listener:
Finally someone has recognized the brilliance of Guido Anselmi's psychedelic tribe and sorted out a vinyl release for them, after several excellent digital releases. (To clarify, many have already recognized said brilliance, but not been in a position to 'vinylize' it).
The label in question is Dead Bees Records (also responsible for what we reckon was last year's best shoegaze release, from France's Dead Horse One), and their timing is brilliant, as "The Return of the Sun Kings" continues the trend of each release from these guys being exponentially better than the last. Logically there has to be a limit as to how much each release can kick the previous's arse by, but there's no signs of it yet.
"The Return of the Sun Kings" sees Anselmi channeling the Lizard King's shamanistic tendencies into a captivating set of anthemic paeans. But far from coming off as a Doors rip-off, or even just an affectionate homage, Anselmi develops and leads these canticles into realms that one suspects Morrison would have happily ventured into, had he not been directed elsewhere by the other three Doors members.
"The Return of the Sun Kings" is a wonderful thing. Expertly sequenced and paced, it's front-loaded with the hookier, more pop-friendly material (pre-release track "Getting Higher", the ridiculously catchy "The Sun Kings"), before the second side gets into the really interesting stuff - droning, tribal pieces which recall the Black Angel's early material, with the garage clamour toned down.
I've right thrashed the digital promo of this, and the vinyl release will certainly be on my shopping list. Check out the Bandcamp page below, where you can download the first track for free as a taster, or pre-order the vinyl release which is due around the 1st of September: