The Kings of Nuthin’ – Old Habits Die Hard

© 2010 Sailor’s Grave Records

Rating: ★★★★☆

New releases from some bands are like Christmas, immediately after the preceding one you get super excited for the next. The Kings of Nuthin’ are like that for me. I’ve been looking forward to Old Habits Die Hard since before I even knew it was coming out.

The disc doesn’t fail to impress either. The now familiar sounds of booze infused 50s rock and roll hybrid with punk guts and speed and vocals like a Dicky Barrett and Tom Waits shouting match are all intact. This time around you get to enjoy 18 new tracks and revel in the level of depth that The Kings of Nuthin’ have developed over the last several years.

Funny thing is, as much as I enjoy this disc, it wasn’t immediate. Maybe it was environment or situation or my mood at the time, but I wasn’t immediately taken. Some of the more, for lack of a better term right now, “doo-wop” moments threw me. The duet seemed wrong and out of place. Then again, I tend to be the type of person that likes sophomore efforts; the kind of releases that are the gangly and often awkward ones in a bands career.

Successive listens, however, convinced me that Old Habits Die Hard has a lot more going on musically than I initially gave it credit for. The songs are tighter now and a bit more complex. Time signatures swerve and careen but magically remain upright. Instruments weave in and out and always fall back in line. The duet really has some charm … I’m still not sure about the “doo-wop”

I think though, the overarching reason why I like this release and this band is that beyond the rockin’ they craft songs that I can relate to. At some point I can’t tell if the tracks are about someone I know, someone we all know or if they, in some strange twist of fate, started writing songs about me. I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel pretty damn connected to the music.

Cheers!

–Jerry

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