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Friday, September 17, 2021

Review: King Dude – Beware of Darkness

Date: August 20th, 2021

Label: Self-released

From the moment King Dude announced the new release, I have been looking forward to it. In fact, it may be better off correcting myself, whatever Mr. TJ Cowgill announces I look forward to with great impatience. A little over a year after the previous “Full Virgo Moon”, King Dude is releasing a record titled “Beware of Darkness”. This is not a completely new album, it is a compilation consisting of covers, demos, B-sides, etc.

The album opens with “She Drives Me Crazy” a cover of the famous hit from the ’80s performed by the band Fine Young Cannibals. With this cover, King Dude gave a second life to this song. I literally had the impression that it was a new song, not a cover of a hit that has been playing everywhere for more than 30 years. The next one is “Beware of Darkness” performed by George Harrison in the original. Definitively one of my favorites on the album. The song instantly throws you into some other dimensions. A strong impression on me was left by the next “Sleeping (In The Fire)”, one of the biggest hits of the band WASP. As a kid, I really loved WASP and especially this song, but after this listening, I’m watching it with completely different eyes. I think I will no longer listen to the original, but I will stick to the KD version. The next one “The Hottest Girl on Earth” is the first new KD song on this record. It is literally a catchy radio hit 1/1 that can be played at noon on any radio station. A very beautiful song as well as the story behind it. The next one “Bleed” is another of KD’s 3 new songs, in addition to “The Hottest Girl on Earth” and “I Was Evil”. I am unable to describe in words my experience while listening to this song. I just know it feels incredibly good. The following are several acoustic arrangements by artists such as Death in June, Vashti Bunyan, Bruce Springsteen… What fascinates me is the fact that each cover is very well done and completely adapted to the King Dude’s style so that one gets the impression that these are completely new songs and not cover.

“I Was Evil” is the last new song, which has already been released in a split with the band Awen. This song reminds us of the early works of King Dude. The release closes “The Winner Takes It All”, a cover of ABBA’s famous hit. The title of the song perhaps best depicts “Beware of Darkness” – King Dude with this new release came out again as the winner. The album cover states that these are “previously unreleased songs, b-sides, demos, covers and more”, which may indicate that some of them are “junk” that did not find a place in any of the previous releases. But don’t let that fool you, it’s a very good KD release where you can find a lot of interesting things.