King - Mobile Estates
have a new reason to be proud.
King is that reason. With their first major label release,
Mobile Estates, Milwaukee has a reason to rejoice.
For years they have been a favorite of the Milwaukee music
underground, but have been missing in action for the past
two years while they were working on the new album.
9 marked their return, and what a return it was.
Beck. Think Beastie Boys. Think the soul and attitude that
the midwestern Mecca of Milwaukee can only provide. When you
toss them all into the blender and hit frappe, you have an
idea of Citizen King.
funk & hip-hop influenced rock is the perfect menu item in
today's monotonous musical world where nothing changes and
"Nevermind" is still the base on which all new music is built.
Estates thrusts Citizen King to the musical forefront. It
is a mixture of just about everything that can be found. We
have guitars, drums, turntables, keyboards, rap, funk, blues,
rock; you name it, they have it.
their sound may be similar to that of Beck or the Beastie
Boys, it isn't rehash.
of the music is that of a funk band, with the occasional punk
influence. To add a twist to the music, a turntable is used.
The heavy sampling and superb scratching add an element of
hip-hop to the music. The occasional guitar funk breakdown
with a scratch solo is not your everyday mix. The
keyboard work includes a multitude of electronic samples and
effects that bring the music to today.
vocals put the finishing touch on this delectable soul-souffle.
the Influence" opens the album. It's upbeat tempo combined
with the heavy use of turntablism by Malcolm Michiles propels
the album forward from the get-go. The next track is "Better
Days" which has been featured on radio stations nationwide,
as well as occasional play on MTV. "Safety Pin" is the most
rock-inluenced track on the album, featuring a raw guitar
sound provided by Kristian Riley. "Billhilly" is a satire
on the stereotypes Wisconsinites have to put up with. "He's
strummin' on a banjo a lot / square dance hoedown rodeo /
and a bucket full of rocks passing the jug . . . "
of the album continues with this mix of hip-hop, rock and
funk. It only slows down twice, once at the intermission "The
Milky Way," the second at "Closed for the Weekend" - a track
about Maritime Days (a Milwaukee lakefront festival where
vocalist Matt Sims was arrested for disorderly conduct during
their own concert).
who is familiar with Citizen King's previous albums Count
the Days (EP) and Brown Bag LP will be sure to
notice the difference between the earlier work and this release.
The new music has been highly commercialized, almost every
track is radio-friendly.
voice has undergone changes as well. The original sound he
possessed before has been somewhat lost in the mix. In other
words, this album has been made to sell. Fans of the Beastie
Boys or Beck will definitely be impressed by this album. The
turntable skills are showcased heavily, and every track is
are nothing overly intellectual, what they are is real. Matt
Sims sings from the heart, everything is about life. His life
is that of a Wisconsinite, as is the rest of the band's. And
they're proud of it.