The King Blues – ‘Set the World on Fire’ Single Review

Posted: April 24, 2011 in Music, Published Work, Reviews
Tags: , , , , ,

With the release of their eagerly awaited third album Punk and Poetry amidst a rigorous UK tour, the last two months have been busy for The King Blues. April also saw the release of the album’s second single, a bouncy punk number entitled ‘Set the World on Fire’.

Itch and the crew

Destined for radio play, the song is bright and upbeat, revelling in its pop influence. With lively melodies and a catchy chorus that powerfully incites the listener to sing (or shout) along, it will certainly be on your lips for hours after hearing it. Oddly though, this sanguine style is used to deliver a message that is much more aggressive. The song is a protest, a call to arms, to destroy the current status quo, revealed through disappointingly unsubtle lyrics: “I only follow the mob to lynch the Prime Minister”. This mismatch of tone and message is curious but only relatively damaging. What is much less forgivable is the sheer unoriginality.

P+P - not Postage and Packaging...

According to frontman Jonathan ‘Itch’ Fox: “I think there’s a need for an album like the one we’re about to release. I think it’s important that there’s people who are willing to challenge and question what’s going on out there.” This is all very admirable, but unavoidably clichéd. Opposing “the man” has long been a staple of punk, but what produces timeless music is originality of sound, and this is notably lacking. Rancid’s influence is inescapable, the catchy hooks and basslines reminiscent of songs like ‘Fall Back Down’ or ‘Time Bomb’. Furthermore, Itch’s forced “underclass” British accent is particularly jarring in this song. But perhaps that’s down to personal preference, after all, Capdown frontman Jake Sims-Fielding sings in an undeniably artificial voice to great success.

‘Set the World on Fire’ is an energetic summer toe-tapper, worthy of a listen and a sing along. Unfortunately however, lacking in originality both musically and lyrically it will never transcend that very superficial level.


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