King's X / Live All Over The Place / CD Review

For years, fans of the hard rock Texas trio, King’s X, have been clamoring for a live album.  Until now, the band has been unable to release one.  “There were lots of legal reasons why we haven’t put one out until now,” states guitarist Ty Tabor.  The stars must have aligned because not only is a live one on the shelves, it’s a double disc set.  The songs were recorded at various shows over the last ten years but leans towards material from the newest albums Black Like Sunday and Manic Moonlight.  Sadly, there’s no mention of songs from the self titled King’s X album or Please Come Home…Mr. Bulbous, but fan favorites “Dogman,” “Goldilox” and “Summerland” are all included.

The band has built it’s career on playing live, so it’s only fitting that Live All Over The Place is the best approximation of what King’s X really sounds like.  What you hear on the album is what you get.  There’s no studio gloss thrown in.  There are hardly any overdubs.  The set may sound raw to listeners accustomed to a doctored live album, but here you get warts and all.  This 25 song set is a true document of a phenomenal live band.   Singer Doug Pinnick’s raspy voice wails on tracks like “Screamer” and “Complain.”  Just listen to the solos on “Cigarettes” and “Johnny” to see why folks are in awe of Tabor’s volume swelling antics.  The highlights on the set are plenty.  From the amazing false endings of “We Were Born to Be Loved” to the thrashing 11 minute version of “Moan Jam” and a killer “Visions,”  King’s X shows why they were included on VH1’s top 100 Hard Rock Artists list.

Disc two is the more interesting disc.  It begins with a seven song acoustic set and includes such lost tracks as “The Difference” and “Mr. Evil.”  It also contains a bonus acoustic track of “Over My Head” which is arguably better than its electric counterpart on disc one.

It’s sad that King’s X has never really maintained the commercial success that they deserve.  They’ve influenced countless bands including Pearl Jam and Living Colour.  While they may never achieve mass success, Live All Over the Place is an album for the fans that flock to see them multiple times each tour.  It documents a band that’s having fun and just happens to be a tight rock and roll band.