King Parrot – Dead Set (Album Review)

So, Melbourne’s King Parrot have followed up Bite your Head off with their second full-length album, Dead Set. With the much-touted production of Phil Anselmo (Pantera, Down), it’s great to see that Phil recognised their talent and unbelievable work ethic (check King Parrots touring schedule – these guys tour relentlessly), and also good to see that an Australian hardcore/grind band can still break through to enjoy some level of success.

1. Anthem Of The Advanced Sinner – There is a feeling of urgency as this hasty beast kicks us off with just over 90 seconds of classic King Parrot. In case you were afraid Phil was going to turn KP into well… something not sounding like King Parrot, let this song assure you they still sound like themselves. With most good second albums, usually, after heavily promoting the first, you get to hear how the composition process develops as the rest of the band tend to evolve and you can definitely hear the broader influences on this one.

2. Need No Saviour – There’s venom in this slower tune as Youngy screams the title. The chugging guitar in unison with the drums is a killer combination. Here you can already hear a slight movement away from their previous structure where they relied so heavily on super-fast tempos. I would say it’s more like they have added a few additional items to their toolkit, rather than changing their sound. At over three minutes, it’s hardly Dopesmoker, but it’s certainly longer than the standard KP track.

3. Hell Comes Your Way – This is a menacing riff and comes straight at you in true hardcore spirit. There’s serious chaotic energy on this, and the verses have a real punk edge. There’s also a great section at the end just made for peak hour traffic. It’s likely that a strong language warning will be issued by any radio station brave enough to play this little ditty.

4. Like A Rat – If you ever had a nightmare of seeing Phil Anselmo in bed with Slatts in pink pants, a film clip accompanies this showing just that. Also worth watching alone for the studio footage at Nosferatu. Tempo changes aplenty in this song, and you can see why they chose to release this.

5. Tomorrow Turns To Blood – A defining mid-tempo track and you hear how Youngy is starting to use a death metal growl to change it up from his higher-pitched yelling attack. This is a song with a theme on serial killers.

6. Home Is Where The Gutter Is – Jesus Christ on roller skates with fucking bubblegum in his hair, this tore my face off! The brooding intro riff got my attention straight away, and the alternating high and low vocal styles add impact to this noticeably non-hardcore arrangement. I am sure there is a tosser at a corporate music company rubbing his chin saying things like “this is a game-changer”.

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Maybe, maybe not. I doubt KP will lose their love of breakneck songs. What has happened, however, is KP have demonstrated that they can pull off elements of the more tightly regimented metal genre styles, and not just the somewhat looser, high speed, punk/metal hybrid style from Bite Your Head Off. There is a music video for this and it’s a pisser (sorry). It fits snugly into the King Parrot toolset however and is of course my favourite.

7. Sick In The Head – This was made as a sequel to Bozo. It is an energetic mosher and picks the pace up with a twisted story. Despite their playful, larrikin image at times, these guys cover the seriously dark topic matter. And where the hell do you get artwork like this from for the liner notes?? There is a manic drive in these verses that is addictive though, and it’s one of the songs that are over far too quickly. Second fave track.

8. Punisher – Further uptempo playing takes us through this tribute to a certain member of the audience.

9. RejectKP’s first foray into political commentary. Plenty of attitude on this and it’s clear we are not going to finish this album slowly as we rocket to the end of it.

10. Dead Set – Woah, it’s hard to pinpoint where the focus of the title track’s unbelievable assault is coming from. There’s a lot happening here. Adrenalin drenched rapid-fire vocals roaring over the torrents of aggression from the instruments. The chorus slows it down but this is all about seamless, schizophrenic changes to induce maximum carnage. Crazy banter on massages wraps us up, and I don’t know if this album will change your life, but I can definitely confirm it affects the way you drive. Outstanding!

Release Year: 2015
Category: Album
Country: Australia

Reviewed by Matt