No More Kings – Self-Titled

  • Bobby Gorman posted
  • Reviews

No More Kings

Self Titled - Astonish Ent.

It’s somewhat unnerving when the main selling point of a CD is an old pop-culture reference to Ralph Macchio as “The Karate Kid” – but that’s exactly what No More Kings are using to promote their Self-Titled release. Not only does Macchio make an appearance in the video for the song Sweep The Leg (which is about the Karate Kid), but the album artwork is also set up around him. But oddly enough, that fits the entire theme of the album because while it may not be entirely dedicated to The Karate Kid, No More Kings is completely full of pop-culture references from over a decade ago.

With songs about partying it up as a zombie, Sally’s inevitable crush on the piano-obsessed Schroeder, the troubled mind of Gulliver and a single verse that throws out references to The Beastie Boys, MC Hammer, and Darth Vader all at once, No More Kings is a pop-punk album for the pop-culture nerd of today. Lyrics like “Throw on some nylon pants and bust a Hammer dance / I’m kicking moves to `You Can’t Touch This’ / Tucked in my corduroys, I got my Beastie Boys tape / Fight for my right to party, `though I’m not invited. / Feel like Darth Vader with this helmet on my head (I can’t see) / I’m in there somewhere past the plastic shield” No More Kings prove that you can write smart, witty and intelligent lyrics without being overly serious and instead just have a good time relaxing and goofing off – something which is strangely lacking in today’s overly serious pop-punk world.

Musically, the band offers just that as well. It’s simple, catchy, pop-punk melodies; not really breaking any boundaries or blowing you away, but catchy and poppy enough to keep you entertained all the way through. Of course, not trying to be overly serious helps them out too because it means they aren’t afraid to explore and try out new, and slightly unusual, avenues. Pre-programmed beats and keyboard melodies are scattered throughout the album – particularly on Sweep The LegSomeday sees the band adding some violins and trumpets into the mix while Schroeder is a short, minute and a half, spares piano track – and those are just some of the examples.

It all adds together to create a diverse but continuous pop-punk/ power-pop album. It’s a band that won’t go too far, but are in it just for the hell of it – and that, in itself, is a redeeming quality. If you just want a few minutes of mindless fun and to re-live some past memories of youth, then No More Kings is for you.