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King Heavy Metal

Ricked Wicky

Released: 07/24/2015
Format: CD
Label: Guided By Voices Inc.
Catalog #: GBVI-60
Country: U.S.A.
Discs: 1
# Tracks: 12
Images
Front Cover
Pressing Details
Vinyl Color # Pressed
N/A
Comments
Original Release Notes: King Heavy Metal, the second release from Robert Pollard's self-described "supergroup" (tongue practically piercing his cheek with self-deprecating irony), is a hitherto undiscovered species of rainforest songbird capable of changing colors in the ultraviolet and infrared spectrums. At once prog-struck, collagist, technically impressive and melodically complex, King Heavy Metal lives up to and subverts its title over the course of its twelve songs. There's stuff on here that wouldn't be out of place on any post-Isolation Drills Guided By Voices album, stuff that wouldn't be out of place on an alternate-universe mid-'70s Who album, and stuff that's as lo-fi, booze-addled and sloppy as anything from "classic"-era GBV.

Pollard's determined to establish Ricked Wicky as more than just another solo or side project: it's a proper, self-contained group with significant contributions, both instrumental and songwriting, from guitarist Nick Mitchell (long time GBV / Pollard stalwart Kevin March supplies drums). Mitchell sings lead on two songs here, both presumably written by him as well: "Imminent Fall From Grace" and "Weekend Worriers." The latter is a kind of "A Salty Salute" update, with Pollard taking the anthemic first chorus, but Mitchell handling the rest of the vocals. Stranger, but in some ways more interesting, is Mitchell's other contribution. "Imminent Fall From Grace" contains probably the most straightforward, earnest lyrics ever associated with a Pollard record—and yet, bizarrely, the song fits, and fits well, with the sort of no-fucks-given experimentation on display throughout King Heavy Metal.

From the skewed-time-signature stomp (with periodic King Crimson-esque breakdowns) of "Come Into My Wigshop" to the voice-over montage intro to "Tomfoole Terrific" to the Sabbath-y riff fest (with added insane babbling chorus) of "Ogling Blarest," the record hops from genre to genre (sometimes within the same song) with the giddy glee of a kid in a record shop. What makes King Heavy Metal different from pastiche-laden past efforts (like, say, I don't know, Bee Thousand) is the level of technical mastery (high) and recording fidelity (high) and altered consciousness (very high) on display. Though Pollard contributes his own often-underrated guitar heroics, when Mitchell cuts loose with a solo—as he does on, for instance "Map and Key"—it's like, "Who let Ritchie Blackmore into the studio?" The answer is probably Ritchie Blackmore let himself in the studio, because he's Ritchie Blackmore, and has his own studio, but on "Map and Key" Mitchell's blistering, melodic runs coil and twist around Pollard's epically melancholic constructions with impressive brio.

King Heavy Metal is not devoid of signature Pollard moments, like the power pop chug of the album's opener "Jargon of Clones," or the lo-fi balladry of "Too Strong for No One to See You," but the emphasis here is on pushing limits. While not the weirdest record in Pollard's discography, King Heavy Metal is a very rare bird indeed. Just listen.
King Heavy Metal
1.   Jargon Of Clones 2:00
2.   Come Into My Wig Shop 2:05
3.   Imminent Fall From Grace 2:51
4.   Too Strong For No One To See You 2:32
5.   This Has Been My Picture 5:42
6.   Ogling Blarest 1:56
7.   Tomfoole Terrific 3:18
8.   Earth Among Men 2:07
9.   Weekend Worriers 2:23
10.  Walk Through Glass 2:10
11.  I'll Let You In 3:07
12.  Map And Key 5:35
Total Length: 35:46
Other Formats
Label - Catalog [Format] (Country) # Tracks
Guided By Voices Inc. - GBVI-60 [LP] (U.S.A.) 12

Album Credits
Artwork/Design
Role Name
Art Department Joe Patterson
Art Department Robert Pollard
Art Department Vince Williams
Cover Art Robert Pollard
Inside Collage ("Racing From Heaven") Robert Pollard
Layout Joe Patterson
Layout Robert Pollard
Musician
Role Name
Band Member Kevin March
Band Member Nick Mitchell
Band Member Robert Pollard
Band Member Todd Tobias
Intro To "Map And Key" (English Birthday Song) Ceridwen
Intro To "Map And Key" (English Birthday Song) Morgan
Intro To "Map And Key" (English Birthday Song) Others
Intro To "Map And Key" (English Birthday Song) Robert Pollard
Management/Business
Role Name
Business Management Eric Weiss
Legal Richard Grabel
Management David Newgarden
Other
Role Name
Additional Album Text A Factory Of Raw Essentials Product
Additional Album Text Keep It In Motion
Additional Album Text www.robertpollard.net
Additional Album Text www.rockathonrecords.com
Rockathon Records Kevin Poindexter
Rockathon Records Matt Davis
Rockathon Records Mike Lipps
Thanks Bridget
Thanks Carla
Thanks Pam
Thanks Sarah
Thanks For Amps And Guitars Stephen Hopkins