KingBathmat are a progressive rock band hailing from Hastings, England and consisting of John Basset (bass, vocals), David Georgiou (keyboards), Lee Sulsh (guitar) and Bernie Smirnoff (drums). The band started off in 2003. Although I've never heard of this band before, Truth Button already appears to be their sixth album. Their musical style is not only difficult to determine, but it's hard to either pigeon-hole them in any particular musical genre. In reviews the music of KingBathmat is often described as a blend of numerous other bands, for instance 'the sound of Pink Floyd wrestling with Kasabian' or ' Black Sabbath cuddled by extravagant ELO harmonies.'
Truth Button provides the listener a fifty-minute mixture of progressive, stoner and symphonic rock, avant-garde, grunge, and psychedelic music. I would like to call it psychedelic progressive heavy rock for the future larded with madness. The six rather long tracks on the album are a brew of complex themes and heavy riffs all dealing with an underlying theme of technophobia and social exclusion. The album is rooted in the traditions of past and present British progressive rock heroes. On this stunning well-played and well-recorded CD, I noticed influences from Genesis, Yes, King Crimson, Uriah Heep, but also from Amplifier and Muse. However, throughout the album KingBathmat clearly make their mark on the music; there's no question of copying here.
Is it all hosanna then? I don't think so. Personally I don't like the vocals as much as the rest. Sometimes they sing slightly out of tune and also a bit too monotonous, but I can live with that. After making music for almost ten years, it's hard to believe that KingBathmat are still unknown for their creative work by most prog heads. However, with Stereohead Records planning to re-release their entire back catalogue in the course of 2013, I'm sure it will be a matter of time. So let's pick up this band now!
*** Gert Bruins (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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