How do you describe an album that grabs you by the shirt and holds
you mesmerized from beginning to end? Strangely, such an album comes
from Connecticut's born and bred rock quartet The Queen Killing
Kings, whose music is centered around theatrical keyboards played
by lead singers Coley O'Toole and Zac Clark and anchored
by the rhythm section of bassist Joe Ballaro and drummer Dan
Duggins. The band's latest release, Tidal Eyes, demonstrates
their ability to gel chamber-laced goth rock and jazz with theater
performance, creating a modern day Rocky Horror Picture Show
tunage. The music has inventive slash marks, billowy projectiles,
and chilling stills in the piano keys with a pinch of '70s and '80s
pop influences. Tidal Eyes is an album that will definitely
make an impression on audients, whether good or bad.
Without a mundane track in the bunch, Tidal Eyes makes theater-tinged
pop likeable and relatable to people's lives. Their lyrics tell tales
about lovers, witches, condemned killers, and revenge seekers, just
to name a few of the songs' subject matter. [The music] seems predominantly
dark, but the piano-pumping rocker "Naked Rain" is unbridled
passion at its most exhilarating decibel, and the bubbly vibrations
and silos of sonic fumes coursing through "Like Lion" have
shards of buoyancy. One of the darkest moments on the album is "Warden"
as O'Toole describes the last day of a convicted killer's life as
he is led into a gas chamber, and rummages through the thoughts lingering
in his head during those final hours. It's a very chilling track with
insightful impressions. The sorrowful ethers of the piano keys in
"This Night" nuzzle around O'Toole's ghostly vocals, showing
an ethereal quality reminiscent of Sarah Brightman. This is
where beauty and sadness merge into a memorable union.
O'Toole's narrations are compelling and the theatrical accents in
his and Clark's keys are pivotal to the songs with a rhythm section
that is astute at hoisting the sails and moving these tracks along
their course. The Queen Killing Kings make an excellent four-piece.
Their spot-on synchronization and stylish swerves remind me of another
rock quartet; that of England's Queen. To TQKK's credit, it's
not so bad being compared to Queen; after all, their music lives on
today in the collective psyche.
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