If you’re like me, you probably read that Lung includes cello in their band and thought, “cool, a folky genre-bending band for me to check out.”
Oh, how preconceived notions fall!
Listening to this album is fun and is a needed shake up to my music tastes. All the Kings’s Horses is abrasive, driving, and a force to be reckoned with. And like a lot of rock duos these days, accomplish a very full sound with surprisingly little. As I listen to the songs in the middle of the record throw punch after punch, I find myself thinking Lung would be equally at home in a basement show as they would be opening a Royal Blood show.
As I said before, the music is abrasive. It may move you emotionally, but it isn’t meant to be interpreted as “pretty.” This is pretty clear from the get-go with the pounding drums and distortion of “The Overgrowth.” There’s a lo-fi sensibility that threatens to drown out the desperate vocals, but it never quite gets there. “Fault” is a high point of angst on the record, with vocal stylings and cello playing in aggressive time signatures building tension, melting together in a way that I’m not sure where one ends and the other begins. A calculated cacophony, as it were.
If “Fault” is a calculated cacaphony, then “Subhuman Nation” is a bombastic barnburner. And yes, I spent way too much time trying to think of some alliteration to drive that point home. That down-tuned cello gets downright sludge-rock-ish at the end of that track and I love it.
I didn’t realize until most of the way through writing this review that some classify this band as post-punk. It is certainly the at the fuzzier end, but the influence is there. This music isn’t meant to be polished, but is it certainly well put together. The right mix of DIY and more palatable alternative. The music is abrasive, but no one part is so much so that you want to stop listening.
Lung isn’t for everyone, but if you stick it out for a few songs All the King’s Horses just might grow on you like it did me.