Hail to the King, the Rude King! Texas natives Rude King has just released a 7-song EP entitled ‘Coming Back to You.’ This 9-piece ska ensemble has been dishing out tunes since 2003. Let’s check this thing out, shall we?
1. “Walk Away”- “Walk Away” is a highly danceable, horn-driven number powered by not 1, but two vocalists. I would not consider this containing any punk elements, but the song certainly intermingles traditional ska with rock and roll. In short, this song has it all, from the aforementioned horn section, to the low roar of the organ to the solo near the end. Great stuff! Grade: A-
2. “Busted Now”-Rude King dishes out more of the same horn-heavy vibes as the first tune complete with rocksteady beat. The vocal harmonization between Jon and Vicki is fantastic. In fact, I think Vicki belts things out a little more on this vs. “Walk Away”. I’m diggin’ it! Grade: A
3. “Coming Back to You”- Heavy on the percussion and subtle guitar riffs, Vicki and Jon can not only shine together, but separately as well. Another scorcher. Grade: A-
4. “Love You Crazy”- Love songs and the ska genre do not always go hand in hand, but this is probably the best example I have ever heard. Although I enjoyed Jon in the previous songs, I think it was a good call to leave him out of this one. Vicki carries this one to a “T” with sweet, low-tempo instrumentation and backing vocals. Grade: A
5. “Helping Hand”- “Helping Hand” picks up the tempo in this skank worthy tune. Straight up ska at its finest. Grade: A
6. “Home Wrecker”- Put your skankin’ shoes away for a minute for this swanky big band number. The vocal stylings in this one makes this feel fresh from the era when swing/big band were king, even though this song is brand new. Grade: A-
7. “Save It For Never”-With more aggressive vocals, “Save it For Never” is the “hardest” track on the album, while still maintaining an overall ska feel. Solid tune, but not my favorite: Grade: B+
After listening to a TON of ska albums over the years, I always appreciate a band that can incorporate different musical genres into their own potpourri of sound. What is equally as impressive are the bands that stick within one genre and perfect the hell out of it. Enter: Rude King. Within this relatively short collection of tunes, Rude King lays down 7 tunes of pure, upbeat ska. We are not talking about punk with horns or the latest reggae rock clone, but the highly danceable, put a smile on your face, getting sweaty while skanking for hours, kind of ska. There is an excellent blend here of organ with a horn-driven sound. I usually prefer bands with female singers, but the paring of Jon and Vicki is truly unique and dynamite! This band has been around for a long time and for good reason. So go out and give “Coming Back to You’ a listen. Rude King is King!
Overall Grade: A-