Out Of The Silent Planet

King's X

Megaforce, 1988


REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Every band has to get their start somewhere. Some of them hit a home run with their first at-bat; others completely strike out. Still others hit a soft ground ball that, at the least, gets them to first base, with the promise of greater things coming from future plate appearances.

In the case of King’s X, their debut effort Out Of The Silent Planet is an example of a tentative first appearance at the ol’ musical plate. There’s plenty on this one to be excited about, but in the end, the 10 songs on this disc showcase a band that was trying to establish a new footprint for themselves.

Initially formed as a band in the Christian rock scene (then known as The Edge or Sneak Preview), the group – guitarist/vocalist Ty Tabor, bassist/vocalist Doug Pinnick and drummer/vocalist Jerry Gaskill – seemed to have a bit of a difficulty letting go of the spiritual side of their music. Numerous songs, such as “Sometimes” and “King,” still have a distinctive Christian flavor to them. This is not mentioned as a negative trait of either the music or the band; indeed, if this album my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 had been purely Christian rock, it would have been far more palatable than most of the music from that scene at the time, as it didn’t necessarily hit the listener over the head with its message. (“Visions” is the track that comes the closest to being overly preachy at times.)

Yet at times, it does feel like this is one thing that was holding King’s X back from true greatness. The other aspect was more limiting, though – and that is the little deviance from a specific tempo or sound to the overall music. In the beginning of the album, it causes songs like “Wonder” and “Sometimes” - tracks which themselves are enjoyable – to blend into one constant sonic drone. Had there been a little more experimentation with tempos and the band’s overall sound, Out Of The Silent Planet might have been a more exciting album overall. For example, more moments like the second part of “Visions” would have had people sitting up and paying more attention to just who King’s X were at the start of their career.

Don’t let all of this fool you, though, as there are tracks to be celebrated therein. “Goldilox” is the first real moment that King’s X shows off the power this band has – and would continue to show throughout their career. “What Is This” has the same issues of sticking with a standard tempo, but turns out to be a very enjoyable track nonetheless.

Out Of The Silent Planet might have been undone by the production of Sam Taylor. There’s not a lot of crispness in the instruments that stands out, which would cause these songs to literally burst forth in the listener’s headphones.

In the end, Out Of The Silent Planet is a showcase for a band still trying to discover just who they were, and this disc shows that they hadn’t quite reached the promised land in terms of their overall sound and songwriting.

Rating: C+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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