Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Best Thing I Heard Today: King's X doing "Over My Head"

King's X had bigger hits, but "Over My Head" is their signature tune: it's funky and catchy, everybody sings, Doug screams, and Ty plays a killer guitar solo, split into two parts by a breakdown that demonstrates how impossibly tight they were. Naturally, they left all that off their Greatest Hits album, opting for an inferior live version that demonstrates how impossibly long-winded Doug can get when you let him talk.

It won't embed, but you should really watch the video they made for this song. Notice that during the guitar solo, starting around 1:30, there are no apparent overdubs. (Of course you can hear that as well, but it's especially clear when you watch them play.) Even so, there's no loss of momentum or texture; Doug's ringing bass tone covers the riff, Jerry crashes the cymbals strategically, and you don't even miss Ty's chords. They played that way all the time; my high school classmate David, a guitarist, singled out that strict three-part texture as their most salient feature. It reminds me of those amazing Led Zeppelin live recordings where the sound remains huge, even during Jimmy's solos. Except with King's X, all three instrumentalists also had to sing.

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