Yorkshire newcomers The King Is Dead grace the scene with debut EP, ‘Once Upon A Burning House’, with barely any shows under their belt. Instead, the option the post-hardcore quintet have gone for here is to have a package to help bring in the new fans and then have their live shows to nail them as permanent members of their fanbase.
So, as debuts go, ‘Once Upon A Burning House’ by no means is a perfect release, but definitely an impressive one for a band still well in their infancy. The King Is Dead are essentially a British counterpart to a lot of the more prominent names on the Rise Records roster: Miss May I, Crown The Empire, Memphis May Fire, Like Moths To Flames and Of Mice & Men to name but a few. As such, it’d be a lie to say the band are reinventing the wheel. They are sticking to the normal expectations of the genre, but that’s all well and good so long as they’re not regurgitating the same song over and over.
Indeed, there’s a lot to be taken in here; lead track ‘Hell Or High Water’ stands as one of the band’s best offerings showcased on this EP. The chorus is fast-paced and pummelling, embedded with the lyric hook “If what we have is dead, the blood is on your hands”, and the string section at the song’s bridge is reminiscent of Hands Like Houses or the aforementioned Crown The Empire.
Closing track ‘Losing Faith’ carries a very similar vibe to it too, reeling us in with an almost jaunty guitar line before shoving us into what is arguably vocalists Daneel Johnstone and Omar M’Saouri shining moments, leaving us on a high for what is to come next from The King Is Dead.
There’s certainley nothing that’s going to be changing the game here, but ‘Once Upon A Burning House’ is definitely an enjoyable listen and one that will leave most post-hardcore and Rise Records roster devotees craving for more sooner rather than later. Well done, lads.
Written by Zach Redrup
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.