King Bull – Conflicting Opinions On Mold and Bacteria EP

Conflicting Opinions On Mold and Bacteria Album Cover Art

King Bull – Conflicting Opinions On Mold and Bacteria EP
Riot Records
Release Date: 09/09/22
Running Time: 12:44
Review by Dark Juan

Good morning. Jesus. This is the third time in as many weeks that I have risen from my slumber before midday. It’s almost like I am becoming a normal, functioning member of society instead of the revenant-like night terrorizer of courting teenage couples and religious liars you all know and despise. There’s apparently this thing in the sky called the sun and it showers you with warmth and light and is (allegedly) responsible for our survival. Well, it’s not for mine, the shiny, eye-frying superheated gaseous twat. Give me the comforting covering of fog and black night anytime. Have you any idea how hard it is to hunt victims during daylight? It’s for people who follow laws and don’t go around abducting men of the cloth and indoctrinating them in the word of our One True Lord, The One Who Walks Backwards, Satan. Only when they have accepted the Horned One as the only true deity of Earth are they released back into the community to spread the right gospel and confuse the fuck out of their flock.

Shit. This isn’t actionable, right? The Reverend Bertram Algernon Fletcher is NOT missing from his parish in Kirby Misperton, North Yorkshire, is ABSOLUTELY NOT currently squealing to his false god to save him from among the slowly maturing batches of whatever-the-fuck-they-are masquerading as beer in my pantry, and most ASSUREDLY IS on sabbatical and unable to be reached in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Neither is Rabbi Yeshua Rubenstein. Or Imam Mohammed Hussein from the Finsbury Park mosque. I tried to get a Buddhist monk but they a) could hand me my arse with both hands, and b) are bendy buggers and tricky to get a grip of, and c) extremely noticeable being manhandled through the door of a Yorkshire terraced house.

King Bull (which is, incidentally, a perfect description of the opening preamble of this review) are a trio from Red Deer, Alberta. This is in Canada, my geographically challenged friends, and is probably not a city particularly friendly to the arts, due to location. Anyway, King Bull are a young band who do not look dissimilar to Hanson (remember them? MmmBop, baby) if Hanson had suffered a horrific car accident involving much facial trauma and they play the kind of greasy, thumbs-in-your-belt Rock ‘N’ Roll fused with Punk that got your parents dancing in the early 80’s. The blurb says they are a Synth Rock band. There’s about three seconds of Synth in the bloody thing and that is at the start of the opening cut, ‘Don’t Want You To Know’. Vocalist Tucker McMurray (who also abuses his guitar in a manner than can only be described as egregious) has a high pitched, unusual vocal delivery that just screams teenage Punk attitude, flamboyant 90’s frontman posturing and doesn’t sound too dissimilar to the noise a turbojet makes when it’s not working properly. 

King Bull don’t do subtle or complex in the same way I don’t do religion (or Tories), instead employing a straight down your throat dose of good old-fashioned Punk ‘N’ Roll that really sounds like it should have been released in 1979. It’s all simple riffing on what sounds like a Stratocaster through an old Boss OD-1 overdrive pedal, brisk tempos and choruses with bigger hooks than a fleet shark fishermen. The opening track is rather Pop Punk (I could see Sum 41 playing it, but with McMurray replacing the ex-Mr Avril Lavigne Derrick Wibley or whatever he was called), but with engaging, snotty, sneering vocals that lift it from the merely tedious into the actually pretty good fucking fun. ‘Never See You Smile’, being the second song on this five-track EP, is a bit of a cracker – the unusual enunciation of the singer reminding this far too old bastard of Bryan Ferry and Iggy Pop and the music of good old-fashioned Punk Rock. Bassist Aiden “Ace” Beauchamp is also a very solid performer, his capable bottom end (cheeky!) anchoring the whole glorious mess together nicely.

The third track in is called ‘Cigarette’ and King Bull take a bit of a step back (briefly) from the full-on Punk ‘N’ Roll of the first two tracks to serve the listener with a bizarre Punk and David Bowie crossover that’s just a little bit unsettling. McMurray fixes the listener with a snake-like stare and proceeds to sing directly at you without blinking. He really is a performer with a dangerous and demented repertoire, but changes from posturing Jane’s Addiction wannabe to snarling monster with a disturbing frequency.

The EP closes with current single ‘I Hate Waiting’ after the rather forgettable, slightly heavier than, but still aping Franz Ferdinand ‘Scary’, featuring a guy I have never heard of, and is a speed-fuelled Punk shoutalong just designed to be screamed back at the band at shows. Designed-in audience participation. Is that elegance, knowing your craft or just being generally obnoxious? Having listened to King Bull, I’m torn between options one and three, but leaning more towards three…

King Bull are obnoxious, but in the right way. It’s that fun-loving, yet still slightly dangerous edge that all the best Rock bands have. Like the mate we all had, who, once fuelled by beer, would cheerfully attempt to steal road signs, get accosted by two excellently dressed gentlemen who informed him they were CID, only for him to shout, “Piss off, I don’t talk to strange men!” whilst halfway up a lamppost and simultaneously trying to hide the sign, which was rather larger than you thought when you got close to it, inside his jacket. Remember that, Gary Newgrosh? I do.

That’s what King Bull are like and it is for that reason, as well as a wonderful lack of care about having a clean production, opting instead for a very organic feel to the record, why I like King Bull. I like the utter lack of pretension, the absolute good-natured bonhomie and the fact that they write simple, but more catchy than an STI in Bradford songs. It’s all very well having syncopation and distended harmonics and microtones and shit, sometimes you just want to hear some good time Rock music and that is what King Bull delivers in spades. Short, stompathon songs define the sound, three minutes being something of an epic for King Bull because the whole five song EP lasts a meagre 12:44. Hallelujah, brothers and sisters and non-binary siblings. Hallelujah.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (Le système breveté d’évaluation des éclaboussures de sang Dark Juan, pour mes amis canadiens francophones car je sais qu’il y en a en Alberta. De rien) awards King Bull 7/10 for a cracking, fun filled EP. I’m being churlish here, but Punk isn’t really my sort of music so I’ve knocked a mark off for that, for ‘Scary’ which is a bit of filler and for the fact it took me FUCKING AGES to find out the names of the performers in the band and that I had to go digging in the first place. Fuck’s sake PR companies – tell us journos who is in the band and who does what in the press kit! Makes my life a lot easier and I do this shit for free… If I were getting paid I wouldn’t complain, but I’m not. So, I will. There.

01. Don’t Want You To Know
02. Never Seen You Smile
03. Cigarette
04. Scary (featuring Ryan Kuly). I don’t know who he is either. It’s fine. We will survive this.
05. I Hate Waiting

Tucker Mcmurray – Guitar And Vocals
Alex Adamson – Drums
Aiden “Ace” Beauchamp – Bass


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dark Juan and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

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