Thursday, March 22, 2012

King Black Acid


King Black Acid and the Wombstar Orchestra...
King Black Acid and the Starseed Transmission...
King Black Acid and the 144,000 Member Acid Army...
King Black Acid and the Sacred Heart...

Over 15 years the band King Black Acid has gone through numerous line-up changes and had almost as many name changes.  Apparently the Oregon-based band is still making music, yet their last release came a decade ago.

I first heard KBA at a Floater concert, being one of the few opening acts to NOT get booed off stage.  I very clearly remember being off to the side of the pit area, the crowd completely unaware of what to expect... The music swelled, the moshers got ready to mosh, and...

"Haunted"

If the music hadn't been so awesome, I would have laughed aloud at the stupid idiotic mosh pit people.

Anyways, I was captured by the spacey, dreamy music.  The band had an organ player, and the lead guitarist Daniel Riddle played one song with a toy laser gun pressed against the strings.  Odd, but good.  So after their show, I made my way back to the merch booth, spoke to the chick from the band, and when she found out I was a Pink Floyd fan, she suggested I get their second album Sunlit.  So I grabbed both that one and their recent album, the soundtrack to the movie The Mothman Prophecies. (Horrible movie, great soundtrack.)

I first gave Sunlit a listen and enjoyed the 3-track song cycle so much that I was online buying the other three(3) albums before the disc was over.  The album starts with a long, slow, mellow track... segues into a long, slightly more up-tempo track... and finishes off with a long, distorted frenzy.

"Headfull"

Their first album was similar in style to Sunlit, but four(4) long tracks instead of three(3).  Womb Star Session was recorded during a live radio broadcast and is a good testament to the band's sound, despite lacking in production value.

"Alone On Mars"

After Sunlit, KBA recorded a soundtrack for an independent film, the album released as Royal Subjects.  This is actually my favourite album by KBA, even though initially I wasn't as thrilled by it as the others.  It took a few listens before I realised the brilliance behind it.

"60 Cycles Numb"

While having a more "rock band" sound to their music than before (shorter songs and more radio friendly), Royal Subjects also showed the band expanding the other direction with ambient soundscapes.

"Passing Through the Photon Belt"

After Royal Subjects, the band changed its name and personnel, and recorded Loves A Love Song.  Far more accessible in style, KBA's music from this album was used on several TV shows and movies.  It looked like the band was headed towards nation-wide success.  The album was incredible while establishing a solid sound for the band.

"Into The Sun" (Live)

After yet another name change, the band was asked to record music for one of the two discs of the Mothman Prophecies soundtrack.  This was the other album I bought that first night, and aside from the bookending tracks by the band Low and some song segueing by TomAndAndy (who provided the film's score), it's a (now) typical King Black Acid album.  Dark and mysterious, slightly creepy at times, but intriguing and beautiful, some of my favourite songs come off this album.

"Wake Up #37"

Since then, King Black Acid has released a couple songs here and there (on MySpace, back when that was still being used), and I guess they perform now under yet another KBA name... although mostly in or around Portland.  I was lucky to see them a few times before they dropped back into obscurity.  Although, I can't help but think how big they could have been if they had continued on the same road they abandoned.

I still look around online every so often to see if maybe... just maybe... there would be any new release by King Black Acid.  So far, no such luck.