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Articles Home » 1988 Articles » Kings X - 1988 Out Of The Silent Planet
Kings X - 1988 Out Of The Silent Planet

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ALBUM: Out Of The Silent Planet
LABEL: Megaforce
SERIAL: 7 81825 2
YEAR: 1988
CD REISSUE: 2014, Rock Candy Records, CANDY232


LINEUP: Ty Tabor - vocals, guitar * Doug Pinnick - vocals, bass * Jerry Gaskill - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 In The New Age * 02 Goldilox * 03 Power Of Love * 04 Wonder * 05 Sometimes * 06 King * 07 What Is This? * 08 Far Far Away * 09 Shot Of Love * 10 Visions


Back in the day, Kings X were a band I couldn't quite connect to. The Texan power-trio were an unusual band, with a sound all of their own, and I couldn't quite pin these guys down. This was during a stage during the late 80's when the funk element was being factored into hard rock. We think of bands like the Dan Reed Network, Stevie Salas & Colorcode, Nuclear Valdez, Extreme and of course the funkiest of them all: Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Of course there were many others, but it was a sub-genre that never quite gelled with me, as I was busy discovering bands like Strangeways, FM and Dare, who were a world away from what Kings X were doing. It wasn't until years later that I had an epiphany with Pinnick, Tabor and Gaskill; and understood what all the fuss was about, and why Atlantic/Megaforce stuck with this band for nearly a decade, even during an era when the Seattle scene and the flannel brigade ruled for a short time.

The Songs
You'll do doing well to pin the tail on the donkey with Kings X. They combine styles from every direction, but somehow it works. The crawling near psychedelic lead-off of 'In The New Age' is complex, and a shape-shifting exercise in the making. Once you understand it, the whole album becomes digestible. On 'Goldilox', the guitar melodies might veer toward the Rush side of the fence, and believe me, I'm not the first person to make that observation. Sitting out in the dark with a cold beer is a great way to experience this song. 'Power Of Love' is the epi-center of melodic rock, and will appeal greatly to the masses here at GDM. Big hair rock, ideal for the MTV audience, and is everything a hard rock band should sound like in 1988. 'Wonder' goes through a few gear changes amid its exotic soundscape, while Ty Tabor converts 'Sometimes' into a song that could just about sneak onto a White Heart album! In saying that, it was interesting to note that both Pinnick and Tabor have ties to former Christian Rock bands in their before and after credits (GregX Volz, Petra, Phil Keaggy, Resurrection Band), so the White Heart comparison is not totally out of left field. 'King' is another song with White Heart pretensions. Tell me the vocal work isn't a deadringer for Mark Florian's dulcet tones? 'What Is This?' throws a few darker tones out there with the intensity ramped up noticeably. 'Far Far Away' adds to the mysterious exotic flavour, the sitar introduction mid-song notwithstanding. 'Shot Of Love' is caught between styles, a jangly rocker, which is in complete contrast to the album closer - the doom-laden 'Visions'. But you have to appreciate how clever the band are by kicking this track into high gear from the mid-point to the end, with the metronome placed into 'silly' mode.

In Summary
There's a definite religious overtone in the lyrics. Mainstream rockers and hair-metallers probably wouldn't notice, but for the discerning among you, the lyric sheet definitely gives away a whole bunch of clues. To top off the 1988 calendar year with a bang, 'Out Of The Silent Planet' was voted #1 album of the year by (then) esteemed UK rock mag Kerrang! It's hard to say how much credibility that held many years later, considering the mag rated Aerosmith's 'Permanent Vacation' into top spot the year before, beating out much highly fancied competition. But I think it was a fair call, though admittedly it wasn't on my radar in 1988. There's a really good and in-depth article on the album click here.. which sums up what I probably couldn't do in lesser or similar words. There's more to discover with the Kings X back-catalogue, such as their excellent follow-up 'Gretchen Goes To Nebraska'. I hope to right a few wrongs in coming weeks.

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#1 | Nick C on December 11 2015 12:17:10
I was the same when they first appeared on the scene, didn't quite get into them. But I did go to see them sometime between 1990 - '92 (have to dig the ticket out) and they blew me away. I've grabbed a few albums since and haven't been disappointed with any of them.
#2 | rkbluez on December 11 2015 17:15:35
Liked this album from when it came was like a breath of fresh air...a power trio with cool punchy songs with big riffs and excellent vocals...Gretchen the follow up I might just like even a little better...a classic album IMO.
#3 | Eric on December 11 2015 22:59:32
Still don't get Kings X all these years later and I remember a few guys in Faith Nation gushing over them too. I was like 'WTF?' To each his own. The sleeve was done by a guy who did a number of new age album covers at the time, possibly another reason I was turned off.
#4 | spawn71 on December 12 2015 17:01:52
King's X and their discography were highly underrated at the times, and probably they still are. A great mix of hard rock, soul, blues, alternative: the guitar sound might sound (a bit) dated now, but the concept is still fresh and excellent! I prefer the follow-up album, 'Gretchen Goes To Nebraska' (their masterpiece, in my opinion), but this one is still a classic for me!
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