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Are King's X Glam?

Last night I found myself sitting in my office, staring at the pink walls. You see, I was near zombie state I was so tired...instead of writing and doing a ton of work that needs tackled, I just sort of randomly listened to music and enjoyed sitting in my own private space.

I (naturally) listened to the new Motley Crue, random Def Leppard, Sammy Hagar's The Essential Red Collection and King's X Ear Candy. Then it dawned on me that I didn't know how to classify King's X. Of course that doesn't matter as I listen to all sorts of music across many genres, but I've often heard people refer to King's X as a Glam band...and I'm not so sure that's an accurate distinction.

iTunes defines King's X as a Metal act, and I think that is fair. No matter what the classification, it's pretty clear that King's X rock. The band are often compared to Faith No More and Living Colour but I actually prefer King's X. 

Please believe, King's X have been around for a long time, yo. We're talking at least as long as Motley Crue in at least some form. Of course, the band didn't really get going until 1985 in Houston and they've been going strong every since. Doug Pinnick, Ty Tabor and Jerry Gaskill are a true power trio and now I am obsessed with this band.


I literally listened to King's X - both on CD, iTunes and YouTube for three solid hours last night. I'm always fascinated by bands that share vocal duties, not to mention switch instruments on occasion. 

When I went poking around the band's official website , I was happy to discover that King's X (with Extreme) are playing a free show in Cincinnati August 10.  I know I have a scheduling conflict that day and I don't care. I'm going to this show!

Here's King's X performing the Jimi Hendrix tune "Manic Depression" at Woodstock '94. Back then MTV still covered major music events. Go figure.

Here's the clip supporting the song "Over My Head."

So, what are your thoughts on King's X? Are they Glam, Metal or a combination of the two - or something totally different? Whatever the case, I'd define their sound as definitely special and nearly impossible to replicate.

Reader Comments (15)

Hi Allyson...I saw King's X years back and they rocked..I also had the chance to meet them...very cool guys..To me they had more of a progressive rock/metal vibe to them..Hope you're doing to you soon =)
July 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoe
Oh I forgot and a Psychedelic rock vide too +)
July 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoe
not even close to glam. i also would say progressinve/metal and yes they rock. i'm hoping they come back through here soon.
July 1, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdon
of course i menant progressive.
July 1, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdon
menant? i'm too tired. i need to go home.
July 1, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdon
Don..I get the same way when I'm tired haha!..Hope you are doing great..take care =)
July 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoe
I live in Houston so of course I'm a fan. Don't take this the wrong way, but these guys are SO much better live. To be able to sound so full and huge with just three people really proves just how talented they are. I think there is that intangible that just doesn't translate to recordings...don't get me wrong, I listen to them all the time on the iPod, but to see them's an experience you will never forget. They will be on tour this summer-catch them...Ty and Nuno in the same house...ooohh a guitar players lottery!!
July 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJay
I really do not think they are a glam band. Their music is very cool and to me, very hipnotic. Being a glam fan, I was turned to this band in the 80's by a born-again Christian. He loved them and their music. I tried them out and was hookedby this thick sounding bass groove.

I remember when Dogman came out. I played it alot and still to this day get a "King's X crave."

July 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCrazynights
i LOVE LOVE LOVE this band. in their earliest days (first album, maybe two) i could see some surface glam connections (poofy hair, production style), but those were tangential at best. after that it was on to different pastures. this is definitely a band that has had, and continues to have, a real career arc, changing with every release.

Allyson, Dogman is my personal favorite. The self-titled is great too, and Ear Candy is alright. After that they got crazy wacky (Tape Head, Please Come Home Mr. Bulbous), but recently they've brought it back to a more organic, rocking sound.

ANYWAY, "no" to the glam connection. metal, rock, funk, jazz, everything. not glam.
July 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVince Neilstein
I lovethe song Shot Of Love.Anyone know if the singer still has that Mohawk?
July 1, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercarl
King's X? Definitely NOT glam. Yeah they teased their hair a little on the covers of their early albums, but when I think of glam I think of content: hot chicks, booze, hard drugs, fast cars, never-ending parties are the typical themes. I can't think of a single KX tune that fits that mold. Not to mention they're from Texas, hundreds of miles from the L.A. glam scene. Some of the elements may have made their way into KX's early look, but you could argue KX influenced the grunge movement as one of the first groups to to use drop-d tuning extensively. They're not quite metal, they're not quite prog. They're one of the hardest groups to categorize which has cost them in marketability and commercial success. That's why they're the most underrated rock group on the planet.If there was a category of "best of all possible worlds" in the rock sub-genres, then that is where they would fit.King's X is the Best!

And Doug ditched the 'hawk about 8 albums ago. He has been recently seen sporting blonde dreds from the top of his mostly-shaved head.
July 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFrostillicus
I've been a huge King's X fan since Out of the Silent Planet. I absolutely love their new album, XV. King's X is one of those rare bands that have kept their signature sound 20+ years.

I would not put them in the glam camp. The comment by Frostillicus is very spot on. They are too hard to peg down with a label.

Kinda funny I ran across this article, as I just had a King's X day yesterday on my iPod. I own every album and played only King's X all day as I worked.

It was a good day...
July 2, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermetalman777
oops, forgot to add that I have a few of the guy's solo albums too. Ty Tabor's Rock Garden is a favorite. I haven't gotten to listen to much of dUg Pinnick's stuff but I do have Strum Sum Up. I heard Jerry Gaskill's album is very good, but very mellow.

Also I believe Ty Tabor also joined with the bassist from Dream Theater and a drummer from a band I can't remember to form a group called Jelly Jam. It has that great melodic groove too.
July 2, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermetalman777
I've been a huge fan of KX since "Faith, Hope, Love" and have seen them as many times as I can when they come through town. They are one of the most talented and long-lived bands around -- comments about seeing them live are DEFINITELY true. They rival Rush and Yes for album-reproducing live tightness. "Born To Be Loved" is always great to see them perform.

"The Jelly Jam" was Ty with John Myung of Dream Theater on bass and Rod Morgenstein (Dixie Dreggs, Winger) on drums. That group was preceded by "Platypus" which was the same lineup plus Derek Sherinian on keyboards. All albums by both bands are fantastic -- mostly because I'm a huge Rod Morgenstein fan and he does killer work in there.
November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRob
Wow... Glam? Really? OK... they got a little overly flamboyant with the hair and costumes for a short while... but they sure don't SOUND Glam.

I'll agree with the folks putting them in the Prog-Metal camp with healthy doses of The Beatles thrown in for good measure. I've seen them live quite a few times and I'm going again tonight! They're frog's-ass tight and give 110% at their shows.

Met Dug on one occasion and he was a complete gentleman. Very cool. Spoke to Ty and Jerry at an autograph session after a show and they were just as nice. They must've been tired after a killer show but they didn't show it. They made time for their fans.

Go see them play! You won't regret it.

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterskua

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