Boy King’s new album, Master, is a face full of fuzzed out power chord guitar grinds, hammering back beats, and a wailing blast furnace lead vocal. With a respectful nod to early Sabbath and Zeppelin, Boy King conjures up a punishing three-piece rock sound loaded with punk rock boldness.
When the needle drops on the first track, “Witch Apple,” you get a detonation of the raw power from both lead guitarist and Boy King mastermind Dustin Lothspeich and lead singer Megan Liscomb’s fire-breathing pipes. Megan conjures up a pretty good wail throughout Master, howling, chirping, and using the force of her voice to help the burners on the record–“Get Ugly,” “Baby,” and the aforementioned “Witch Apple”–power up. Their choice of forgoing a well-polished, over-produced studio approach for a more DIY, low tone grunge feel is what gives this record its persona. It creates a heavy bottom for the three musicians to work from and keeps the record grounded in its rightful place.
Boy King employs a loose but manageable reign on the pace throughout the record, making sure not to jam their volume too far down your throat. They ease off the pedal just enough on the slow burners “Creature” and “Forever We Run.” The latter gives Liscomb a chance to down shift a little, short bursts and a chugging rhythm and from Lothspeich’s guitar setting the pace, allowing Liscomb to ease into the swirling sound with grace. With Boy King’s second release Master, Liscomb has been able to establish herself as a force to be reckoned with. Her voice goes toe to toe with the loud crunch the boys kick up, packed with enough soul to pull you in and make you notice more than just her growl. It should be noted that there is no bass player on the record. It’s an easy thing not to recognize due to the way that Lothspeich and drummer Adam Eidson keep this 9-song romp anchored in enough distorted melodic goodness to hold your attention, whether it’s your first listen, or if it (and I’m sure it will) becomes a permanent fixture on your playlist.