I will not begin this article by mentioning King Missile’s one hit song from the mid ’90s. This I will not do. But even if you do know the song, as many people do, you may not know that King Missile is still making music — and good music to boot.
King Missile III is the group’s latest incarnation, which was founded originally in 1987. Lead vocalist and founder John S. Hall seems to always find perfect musicians to lay down innovative and concise music beds for his spoken-word vocal tyrannies. And on Royal Launch, never has this been truer.
Multi-instrumentalist Sasha Forte (who also plays with jazz great Herbie Hancock) lays down violins, keyboards, guitars, bass and all kinds of rich layers over Bradford Reed’s often sparse, exotic, rolling tempos and Jack Spratt’s guitars, allowing Hall to divulge the innermost workings of his uber-violent, borderline-genius mind.
Hall’s lyrics are the voice of a generation — the raw expression of a young man living in a point in history where nothing really makes sense if you do not subscribe to popular opinion. Sure, plenty of artists make political albums, and Hall may not be as researched and precise as Biafra. But let these others do the numbers while Hall screams the voice of frustration, echoing through the souls of the disillusioned youth.
The beauty here is that just like a human mind, Hall’s stream-of-consciousness, unfiltered deliveries move quickly from politics to thoughts on sex fetishes, vegetables, Calista Flockhart’s urine, and the ever-popular sport of skull fucking — only to swing back and make his point, or maybe just meander to the next topic dialed into his mental viewscreen.
Whatever the path, Royal Launch is one of the best, most interesting albums of the year.