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So not too long ago, Matt was chatting with me and he said he got the opportunity to interview System of a Down Bassist Shavo Odadjian,  focusing in on his latest project, North Kingsley. Not having heard of this project, I gave recently released EP Vol. 1 a quick listen to familiarize myself with the band. At first, I was confused why there was only 3 songs. I could only imagine there would be more where these first 3 came from. Little did I know, Vol. 2 was on its way and that I was going to get the opportunity to review it.  Let's dig in!

Right out of the gate, listeners need to know that North Kingsley's sound is different.  It doesn't fit neatly into a particular genre as one might expect, but rather a mix of diverse genres that incorporate cinematic instruments and intense vocals into thought-provoking songs relevant in these uncertain times.   After getting my feet wet with Vol. 1, I gave Vol. 2 the playthrough and needless to say, I was super impressed to see Wu-Tang Clan's RZA on the first track, “False Idols”. I really enjoyed this song because I definitely could hear the similarities to System of a Down with Shavo's signature bass lines. It’s hard to pinpoint where they lean more on the genre scale because you have songs like this where it’s a deep bass/guitar with vocals that almost seem like it could be a rock song, but then the next track, “Rifle in Thought”, takes a complete 180 and is on a whole other playing field. 

It’s super interesting to see Shavo go from what he did in System of a Down to a band like this. I guess that’s why music is music though, you can do whatever you want!  I like it when artists take a step out of the usual and try something different. Sometimes it doesn’t work but a lot of times it can work out in their favor.  I can definitely say that this style of music is something I have never heard before and it definitely has appeal to it.  As a creator myself, It was awesome to see Shavo stepping out of what many would consider his typical space and creating these unique songs via North Kingsley.  Overall, these 3 new songs on Vol. 2 are great and I feel this trio has a lot of potential to shake up the music scene in the months ahead and years to come.

One last thing I will make a note on is the manner in how North Kingsley is releasing these songs. First off, I love the colors of the album art. I enjoy uniformity in a brand, and they are executing it really well. It’s simple but unique and says a lot. And to end this, I have never heard of 3 song releases before. I think it keeps people wanting to come back for more which is genius marketing. I’m a nerd about that stuff.  In addition, I must say that Ray Hawthorne's vocals throughout Vol. 2 are straight fire and the production quality courtesy of Saro Paparian is simply out of this world. The album doesn't pop without these guys, and I must give these guys credit where credit is due.  Bottom line, I loved Vol. 2 and am so looking forward to North Kingsley's next set of songs to come out in the not so distant future.   Big things are on the horizon for this band, and can't wait to catch them live when all of the Covid madness comes to an end!


Be well and keep rocking!   Hunnypot Approved!     Overall Rating:  9.0 out of 10

Artist:  North Kingsley,  AlbumVol. 2  Release Date: December 4th, 2020 


James Coffman

Photojournalist - Dallas

Website: Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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