KINGBATHMAT

kingbathmatKINGBATHMAT – ‘Overcoming The Monster’
Often by the time a band reaches album number seven, their best days are behind them.  So when King Bathmat’s latest landed, our expectations were of a good solid progressive album that very much continued where they left.  What we got was more than a surprise.  For those not familiar, King Bathmat have been releasing their brand of eclectic Proggery every couple of years since 2003’s debut “The Truth Button”, but what makes them so different is that the Hastings four-piece aren’t afraid to throw in stuff that really shouldn’t work,  but somehow do.  Metal, Rock, Indie, Pop and anything else that seems right at the time; they’re a group that do what they want and if you don’t like it, you know where to go.  So to Overcoming The Monster – as with so many in this genre, it’s a concept album clocking in at over fifty minutes and in this case, dealing with the monsters that are (in their own words) “manufactured in our thoughts, both internally through our insecurities, externally by the outside influence of others and collectively through the mass media which uses fear as a tool to manipulate our perceptions”.  Conceptual indeed.  Each of the six cuts deals with a separate aspect: ‘Sentinel’ being the perfect opener for this kind of affair.  There’s no doubting the reason it was chosen as a single – reminding us that a lack of spirituality creates fear.  Pretentious? Yes.  Awesome – absolutely!  And over the next five lengthy cuts (8-12 minutes each) they deal in fear of the unknown, historical monsters, politics and technology, finally ending with a conspiracy in the haunting album closer Kubrick Moon.  Each a musical masterpiece in it’s own right, with tempo shifts, pure disregard for boundaries and surprises around every corner.  This is undoubtedly their high water mark; creepy, tense, energetic, psychedelic, thoughtful.  A complex yet triumphant journey that any music fan needs to take.  (8)
STRINGFELLOWE HAWKE

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