Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
Kungens Män — Kungens Ljud & Bild
(Bandcamp no#, 2022, DL)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2022-06-17
As sometimes happens, one may get awakened to the existence of an excellent band or artist that they probably should have known about before, but for whatever reason didn’t. Such is the case with Stockholm-based sextet Kungens Män, who have flown under my radar for their first ten years. With two dozen album releases to date, Kungens Ljud & Bild is actually the band’s 25th full length release. Currently their stock in trade is a formidable brand of psychedelic space rock, and looking at all of the albums before it I have no reason to doubt that wasn’t always the case — although one might suspect with the prolific output of their early years (six albums in 2013 alone, topped by seven in 2014) that quantity has given way to refinement over the years. Starting out back in 2012 as a bunch of friends hanging out together and jamming, the band features guitarists Hans Hjelm, Gustav Nygren, and Mikael Tuominen, the latter doubling on six-string bass and vocals, plus bassist Magnus Öhrn, drummer Mattias Indy Pettersson, and Peter Erikson on synth. “När piskan viner” opens the album with a frenzied riff-laden blast, and at nearly eight minutes, it’s the shortest track on the album. With a slower and more measured approach, “Stora rummet” is nearly twice that length, picking up steam over its duration, and adding strange sonic artifacts wherever they are found. A six minute edit of the same track is included at the end as a bonus in the download. Picking up speed again, the eleven minute “I Hjalles kök” features some spoken vocals in Swedish (eventually morphing into shouting) while the instrumental mix swirls around it at a brisk pace, and “Vaska lyckokaka” closes the album proper with an intensely psychedelic groove, with dueling clean and fuzzed guitar tones dancing overhead. Fans of heavy psychedelic sounds and traditional Hawkwind-like space rock might well find Kungens Ljud & Bild a satisfying respite.
Related artist(s): Kungens Män
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