Young Guns - All Our King Are Dead
Record Label: N/A
Release Date: 12th July, 2010
Since the release of their Mirrors EP back in 2009 and the Kerrang Relentless Tour, which took place early 2010, Young Guns have been making waves in the British rock scene. Mirrors showed Young Guns to be a band loaded with huge soaring choruses and fast catchy riffs, so as an opening EP it set a high benchmark. With debut album All Our Kings Are Dead , the High Wycombe lads look set to take things one step further. They aim to leave a hoard of other British bands in their wake, including the likes of We Are The Ocean and Deaf Havana, who are all jostling for position to snatch the limelight for themselves.
In simple terms, the first five songs of All Our Kings Are Dead amass to bring one of the best openings to an album I’ve heard. "Sons Of Apathy",
"The Weight Of The World" and new single "Crystal Clear" should all be familiar material to Young Guns fans. With the brilliantly slow and epic "Meter & Verse" and the huge chorus of "D.O.A" the new material proves to be breaking incredible new ground. I was lucky enough to hear an acoustic performance of "Meter & Verse" recently and the vocals from Gustav Wood were amazing. The only negative for me at this point is the re-recording of "The Weight Of The World," where there are clear changes in vocals and guitar levels. However this takes little away from what is a truly amazing song.
The outstanding opening of All Our Kings Are Dead always meant that one song will suffer, and this song is "Stitches". This song is still good, especially the mid-song solo, but nevertheless the previous songs before slightly overshadow it. Next is the breakthrough single "Winter Kiss," where the haunting opening instrumental creates an incredible atmosphere, present throughout the whole song. There is a turning point in "Winter Kiss" where another step in quality is made as Gustav makes his presence felt as he sings, "A distress call to one and all, can you hear me? Please respond, ‘cos i’m searching for another sign of life, but all I hear is white noise." This makes it clear that Young Guns pay attention to not only the structure of songs, but also the overall sound and feel.
The ending of the album doesn't contain any current hits, but "After The War", "Endless Grey" and "At The Gates" are all solid songs; this is due to the sheer quality Young Guns possess in writing big choruses. The biggest surprise with All Our Kings Are Dead is the final song "Beneath The Waves." Album-ending songs are usually regarded as the weakest, but "‘Beneath The Waves" couldn’t be more fitting - ‘huge’ is the best word to describe it. It is definitely the album's heaviest song, as well as the longest, racking up over seven minutes. This is due to the majority of the song being instrumental, but don’t let that put you off. It's worth every minute.
"Beneath The Waves" is the song that truly convinces me that All Our Kings Are Dead is not a one off album. Young Guns have the confidence to put a seven minute song this good as the album closer. This confirms that Young Guns have a lot more to say, and I for one cannot wait to hear. Alongside fellow UK rockers We Are The Ocean and their first album offering of Cutting Our Teeth, this is as good as a debut album could hope to be.