King Dude - Music To Make War To

by Kevin Orton Rating:5 Release Date:2018-08-24
King Dude - Music To Make War To
King Dude - Music To Make War To

King Dude is like a million other “Goth” acts out there laying on “darkness” and baritone with a trowel. He’s been compared to Johnny Cash and that’s just laughable. If you ask me, he sounds more like a cookie cutter parody of Sister of Mercy’s Andrew Eldritch doing a parody of Iggy Pop on Quaaludes. Maybe someday, King Dude will find his own singing voice. Until then, here’s another King Dude album--- laying on the “darkness” and baritone with a trowel.

Despite its snappy title, Music To Make War To kicks off with the cliched, moody broody menace of ‘Time To Go To War’. If a call to arms, it’s never sounded so sleep-inducing. Musically, the song is a straight line that doesn’t really go anywhere. ‘Velvet Rope’ is a bit more rousing, sounding like indistinguishably cliched 80’s Goth Pop. ‘Good & Bad’, his ridiculously lugubrious duet with Josephine Olivia, is self-consciously “sexy” with the kind of sleazy sax you might find on a good Madruguda album. As for, ‘I Don’t Write Love Songs Anymore’, he might want to give it a shot just to break up the monotony.

‘Dead Before The Chorus’ does the classic move of hinting at Ron Asheton’s classic, ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ riff but it doesn’t rescue things from being mired in mannered vocals and musical mediocrity. The best that can be said about ‘Twin Brother of Jesus’ is that it's laughably self-indulgent, snail-paced and overwrought. There’s nothing going on in ‘The Garden’ but on ‘The Castle’ he goes all Pop Metal on you. ‘Let It Burn’ is the album’s most interesting moment. A cinematic torch song with Spaghetti Western flourishes. It all ends on the somnambulistic ballad, ‘God Like Me’. King Dude sounding like a lonely man at the piano bar, barely able to keep his eyes open.  

Unlike someone like Chelsea Wolfe, with whom he has collaborated, King Dude can’t seem to get over loving the sound of his own voice. Musically, he lacks her eclecticism and vigor. And where Wolfe can paint the day black as a shroud at midnight, she eschews the kind of overbaked self-indulgence King Dude seems to relish in. For my money, this is just run of the mill, cliched “Goth” and it’s dull as bricks. Music to nod off to. Zzzzz...

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