dUg – ‘Songs From The Closet (Doug Pinnick Demos Vol. 1)’ – the review

Like a lot of bands, King’s X members have generally written songs on their own before presenting them to the band. Unlike almost all of them, however, King’s X has also chosen to start releasing multi-track demos of many of their songs for the fans to get a good listen. ‘Songs From The Closet’ is bassist/vocalist dUg Pinnick’s first go round at this, and includes not just 4- and 8-track home-recorded cassette demos of already familiar songs, but two never-released tunes and a vocal commentary track addressing the origins of each song.

The first of the ‘new’ songs on tap is ‘Wars’ and its sees dUg stripped down to a state of raw, mechanistic emotion not far removed from mid-period Prong. dUg used a drum machine for the drums on each track, and though it might add to ‘Wars’ jaggedness, in most instances, such as the ‘The World Around Me’, it’s simply a sonic difference rather than a stylistic one. Once the ears get used to it, it becomes pretty much invisible.

dUg pinnick

A track-by-track rundown of each song probably wouldn’t serve much purpose. Almost all of them are already familiar to a King’s X fan, and to describe the differences between the versions on this record and their fully-formed brothers would take away at least some of the fun of listening. ‘What I Know About Love’ does bear individual mention though, its sparse, dark, slow arrangement resonating immediately and deeply.

‘Songs From The Closet’ is made for and  probably best enjoyed by someone who is already a King’s X fan, but the material on hand is still strong enough that if you put it on in the background you’d probably have the unfamiliar asking who it was. Not surprisingly, the songs can carry their own weight, even in stripped down form.

Galactic Cowboys guitarst Wally Farkas doubles as the head of Molken Music and has spent a good deal of time mining the King’s X vaults to put collections such as this one together. Even better, there’s plenty more to come! 

Track listing:
1. The World Around Me
2. Wars
3. I’ll Never Get Tired Of You
4. Fine Art of Friendship
5. Power of Love
6. The Big Picture
7. Ooh Song
8. Sometime
9. A Box
10. Human Behavior
11. Trash in Heaven
12. What I Know About Love
13. We Were Born To Be Loved
14. Faith Hope Love
15. dUg’s audio commentary.

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