If someone would have approached me in June and said that I would a. listen to a Kottonmouth Kings album and b. like it; I would have laughed out loud. I appreciate what they do and am amazed that they have had this longevity. Their success is undeniable – if only within a devoted niche of fans who know good music when they hear it.
I never could have imagined they actually earned every accolade and record sale they got. If their previous discography is on par with – or leading up to “Long Live the Kings” – they have a canon of music that needs to be further explored.
“Long Live the Kings” is a tightly recorded album highlighting the vocal acrobatics on a variety of topics (getting high and laid being the prevalent underlying themes here – color me surprised.)
The KMK version of an illusion of grandeur would seem funnier if they weren’t so strangely ironic. From the opening title cut they swagger and sway as if they were commanding the record charts, but the swagger gets backed up by some of the most interesting rhythmically unique vocals I have ever heard.
On “Long Live the Kings” – Suburban Noize label-mate The Dirtball joins the KMK crew and injects his own royal skills and attitude into the mix. This infusion of energy serves to make this disc even more exciting. There has been a new discovery on every listen of this disc.
“Simple and Free” is a solid departure (in every way possible) from what anyone could have expected from this hyper-energetic group. Their ability to write and record and release this song, speaks to the maturation of a band who will be around for along time.
I have a little trouble buying the whole 420 culture. They are so precise – so on point – it is hard to imagine being able to be this agile – this smart – this multi-layered after smoking a big joint. To make a record this complex – you pretty much have to have all of your wits about you.
You do not need your wits about you to listen to it. There is a reason the KMK has been around as long as they have. “Long Live the Kings” is surely one reason. I am looking forward to the next one.
Stand Out Tracks
Kill the Pain
Simple and Free