Earlier in the year I had the chance to catch upcoming pop rockers King Nun when they visited Guernsey and played a show at St James Concert Hall only weeks before they opened for Foo Fighters in Dublin and now they’ve released their debut album, Mass.
As I expected it all begins, and continues, with a hyper produced sound that takes their raw product and makes it into something immensely clean and shiny with more than a few songs apparently custom engineered to get fields full of teenagers jumping with a mix of indie rock and emo punk.
Within that tight production though the real energy and character of the band still comes through, particularly with the attitude of eccentric frontman Theo Polyzoides really coming across, possibly even better than it did when I saw them live.
Their emo side is typified in the rather brilliant lyric ‘how do you hate in a place like this?’ on Transformer which brings a nicely off kilter feel under the rockier numbers somewhat reminiscent of My Chemical Romance (not a comparison I make lightly).
The whole thing also brings a big hit of nostalgia for me, not just for the pop punk vibes, but for the British indie rock sensibility that took me back to all those bands I heard on CD samplers or caught on smaller festival stages in the late 90s and early 2000s.
As Mass goes on Black Trees shows a nicely darker side of the band’s sound while they also show a lighter and more acoustic feel on closer A Giant Came Down that rounds off what does, eventually, feel like a musical journey in the way all good albums do, even if it does maybe get a little lost around the two-thirds point.
Ultimately though Mass sounds great and captures something that should appeal to the current crop of young rock fans while also providing plenty for older listeners like me to enjoy, on top of which it does that rare thing of finding a nice balance between pop production and the more raw sound and feeling that’s also present in their live shows.