King’s X is at it again. Late September marks the release of the band’s 13th album, Ogre Tones. The album is no better or worse than the band’s last few efforts. The album kicks of with a screaming “Alone” before going into a Summerland-esque “Stay.” What’s striking about this release is that guitarist extraordinaire Ty Tabor rarely solos. When he does, it’s just simple droning notes or very short passages. This is most evident on the 7 minute track “Sooner or Later.” As a fellow writer so astutely pointed out to me, this song is basically a less interesting “The Burning Down.” The end of the song provides an excellent pad to straight out jam on. Instead, it doesn’t really do anything.
However, the album isn’t bad by any stretch. “Hurricane,” “If” and “Mudd” are all excellent tracks. “Bebop” is the standout because it harkens back to the band’s more left of center past. “Get Away” features probably the first instance of the F word on a King’s X album. Luckily, its use fits the desperate tone of the song. The album also contains a new version of the oft-bootlegged Ear Candy outtake “Freedom.” It’s nice to be able to actually make out the lyrics now.
Bassist/vocalist Dug (yes, he dropped the O) Pinnick sounds as soulful as ever and it’s a relief to finally hear drummer Jerry Gaskill’s harmonies again. Ogre Tones is another standard King’s X album that fits snugly into their discography. If you’re a fan, you’ll enjoy the disc, but it won’t convert a lot of new recruits. Just like the most recent discs, this one doesn’t stand out on first listen but give it a few spins and it will grow on you. If the songs contained some of Tabor’s patented solos, this would’ve almost been a classic King’s X disc.