We’ve been big fans of To Kill A King for a good while now, so it was with some excitement that their debut album finally made its way to our ears.
We may have heard the majority of these songs before on the bands previous EPs and numerous live shows (which included a rather inventive guerilla campaign), but on Cannibals With Cutlery the London five-piece have added polish, strings, and production that has hitherto been missing.
Ralph Pelleymounter eases you into the record with the simple chords on I Work Nights And You Work Days, before you are met with the strings that steps this work apart from what came before. Single Cold Skin follows and is pushing towards the territory of an upbeat indie anthem, keeping your foot tapping and the urgency flowing from the staccato bass, before the crescendo of desperation in the chorus.
My favourite on the record comes in the from of Gasp/The Reflex, which starts simply almost like the 42 second title track, before launching into short stabs of soaring chorus before shifting into the second arrangement of a perfect indie piece of indie pop.
There’s certainly enough variation on here to keep your interest for the full 55 minutes, with some tracks like the happy, summertime Children Who Start Fires seemingly from a different record in terms of tempo and ideas, but somehow on here it just seems to work. A cheerful let up before back into the dark, brutal Fictional State.
Letters To My Lover The Dylan Fan is a meandering close, a song that sneaks up on you as it builds and you find your heart beating to the ever increasing pace of the bassdrum. The world opens wide as they hit the crescendo before slowly disintegrating instrument by instrument, leaving you with just Ralph’s whispers and a sense of having finished the story. A sense that To Kill A King have finally produced the record you always hoped that they would.