The first new King’s X music in 12 years will be released in February-March 2020. Only the tiniest snippets have emerged so far, but they suggest a modern, varied, expansive album that could well be the band’s crowning glory.
Personal and health issues have limited touring in second-half 2019. The band has cruises scheduled in February (Monsters of Rock) and March (Cruise to the Edge), and a half dozen US dates scheduled for April, but until then fans of all things Doug Pinnick will have to content themselves with his prodigious back catalog.
The man almost literally never stops making music. Sometimes it’s one-off covers for compilation albums, sometimes solo records, other times heading into the studio with any one of a number of non-King’s X bands he’s formed over the years, the most recent version of the last being KXM’s ‘Circle of Dolls,’ released Sept. 13, 2019.
Sometime before it came out, and building on the fun had crowning ‘Over My Head’ the most beloved King’s X song ever, I created a bracket pulling songs from Doug’s album-length outside projects. It was intended to include at least one track from each of his outside bands and almost hit the mark. The Mob (also feat. Reb Beach, Kip Winger, Kelly Keagy, and Timothy Drury) came up short. Even when choosing 64 Doug songs outside King’s X, the options were so deep that there just wasn’t room for a track from the project’s 2005 release.
There were, however, entries from Supershine, Poundhound, Tres Mts., 3rd Ear Experience, KXM, Razr 13, Pinnick Gales Pridgen, Grinder Blues, and dUg Pinnick himself.
Of the 16 still standing, five came from Poundhound, five were released under dUg’s name, and another five came from KXM (Ray Luzier, George Lynch, and dUg). Pinnick Gales Pridgen nailed down the final slot with ‘Hang On, Big Brother’ from its self-titled debut.
Poundhound’s debut, ‘Massive Grooves from the Electric Church of Psychofunkadelic Grungelism Rock Music,’ released by Metal Blade on Aug. 11, 1998, snared four spots on its own, ‘Music,’ ‘Friends,’ ‘Love,’ and ‘Jangle’ all making the final 16.
Doug welcomed the return to a small, independent vibe. Metal Blade knew and liked its niche. It didn’t take many risks and ran its business smoothly, comfortable with what it was. The band felt safe and liberated from Atlantic’s rock star obligations. “That world was so engulfing,” Doug reflects. “We weren’t ourselves. We were the band everybody thought was going to make them millions of dollars. They put us in a little bubble and fucking hand fed us.”
Daniels believed the singer of an established band, being the focal point, should get his own record deal in addition to the band’s. Metal Blade agreed. The deal gave Doug money for the first time. Doug built his home studio, Poundhound, with the advance for his first solo record and made a down payment on his house as well. The second record paid off the credit cards he filled putting furniture in the house. It allowed him to move into suburbia and finally get what he wanted: a house and a studio of his own.
After all the years on Atlantic it took a solo side-deal from a metal indie to give Doug a place to call his own.
Poundhound’s ‘Massive Grooves from the Electric Church of Psychofunkadelic Grungelism Rock Music,’ Doug’s first solo record, excited him musically. He’d become increasingly frustrated with the way his songs were turning out in King’s X. He didn’t think they were bad. They just didn’t sound the way he heard them in his head. With ‘Massive Grooves….’ Doug set out to write a bunch of songs for himself, play them himself, do exactly what he wanted. He performed all the instruments except drums, which Jerry played, and was pleased with the outcome: a no frills record of Doug straight-up singing his songs and sharing his heart.
King’s X recorded ‘Tape Head,’ its Metal Blade debut, at Poundhound Studios as well. Doug was so happy with the ‘Massive Grooves….’ songs that, rather than trying to make lightning strike twice, he suggested the band write its new record together.
It will be interesting to see what song ends up taking the top spot. My bet’s on something from ‘Massive Grooves…’, but the choice is up to you, the reader, and the love out there is also strong for both ‘Strum Sum Up’ and KXM.