Monday, June 11, 2012

CD Review: King Washington “The Gears”


The Gears

Based out of L.A. these young rockers, made up rhythm guitarist/vocalist with the Lennon-esque pipes, Tyson Kelly, lead guitarist/vocalist George Krikes, bassist/vocalist and since he is the bass player, the cute one Dylan Cronin and drummer/vocalist Kyle Turek, makes some pretty impressive music. The easy way out is to say they were bitten by their parents Beatles records, but they are more than that. Their sound is powered by a diverse number of influences. One is a war veteran, another the son of a Hall Of Fame songwriter (Tom Kelly), they write some complex melodies, but they still feel at home in the pop/rock genre. As a band they mesh, well, like well oiled and precision made gears. Vocally, the harmonies are top drawer, and the tunes rock with a vintage groove – yes, you can dance to it – and the quirkiness pays homage to The Beatles, and many other bands that set a new direction, but it is all their own.

“Bawl and Changes” by King Washington from the album “The Gears” 6/5/2012

Co produced by Grammy Award Winning producer, Joe Puerta (Bruce Hornsby and the Range, Ambrosia) the album almost didn’t happen. After nearly finishing the album with a mid-west Indie label, they were forced to shut down when negotiations fell throughh. After a large Kickstarter campaign, they re-recorded a new and improved version over 12 days at Exchange Studios in Milwaukee, WI. And the result is the best news out of that state this year.

The vocals, almost entirely Beatles-like harmonies, are captivating. It’s an impressive debut that should give them a serious assault vehicle for the charts. But, they are not just about polished pop/rock gems. In places, there is a roadhouse, roots rock vibe happening amongst the swooning vocals and daring guitar work. But Tyson Kelly delivers a John Lennon like inflection, complete with quirky chord progressions and dips into dreamy psychedelic vibrato. Krikes lead guitar work is not three chord stuff. this guy is schooled, disciplined and knows when to color  outside the lines. he is a recent grad of USC's Thorton School of Music, and he takes the band to daring, but not dangerous ground. The drums and bass are rock solid inside the pocket, and on occasion, peeking outside, just to make things interesting.

“Animal” (Live at Molly Malones)

This is a strong debut from a young band that has the talent and universal appeal, capable of crossing generations, that should see them go far. Its all here, raw emotion, talented and marvelous songwriting, harmonies you don’t hear often in todays electro-centric, autotuned  music world, a discipline musically that transfers to live performances as well as to the studio, and an apparent vision as to where they want to take the music. It’ll be fun to follow them through the years and see just how far they can take it.


The Dirty Lowdown

Copyright © 2012 Robert Carraher All Rights Reserved


  1. Eugene Russell is the new bass player, seen above in the video.

  2. I only have the One Sheet and press release to work from and it says George Krikes is on the album.