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Album Review: Warriors - Dragon King

Album Review: Warriors - Dragon King

Even in the supposedly wide-open realm of indie, it’s somewhat rare to find a band who's actually hard to categorize. Everything tends to fit into easy compartments, and even while those compartments are often kind of weird or niche ("shoegaze", "post-rock", freak folk", etc.), it's still not a challenge to come up with the obvious reference points for the bands that subscribe to them. Dragon King, however, is somewhat of a break from that. Sure, they're a breed of electronic pop, but just where do they come from exactly? I can't think of anyone in particular that sounds like them, though that probably has more to do with the fact that they don't draw from any of those niche genres so much.
The Warriors EP starts out aggressively with "Wolfboy", a sort of hip-hop meets electrorock shuffle. It features Peedi Crakk, which is pretty much enough to seal the track's rap street cred, as the guy has collaborated with everyone from The Roots to Jay-Z. The song's grimy bassline and pulsing synth doesn't return until the last track of the record, "Wild Night", whose chorus is about as big and blunt as things get. Sandwiched between all this are a couple of subtler, slow-burn tunes. "Warriors" builds up graciously, piling on little synth bleeps and bloops, eventually culminating in gorgeous, swooning vocal harmonies. "Altamont Sunrise" is probably the best choice for a single. Its instrumentation is minimal, at least compared to the rest of the EP, but this is to make way for its vocal melody. It feels natural and breezy, containing hints of some classic pop songwriting.
The mood of the first track is somewhat at odds with that of the next couple, and listeners might find themselves divided between these two "types" in Dragon King songs. For some, this might indicate a band that can do a lot of things and isn't afraid to try them out. But for others, it might be a sign of band that hasn't quite found their sound yet. Either way, there's enough potential going on to make the Warriors EP a worthwhile listen. You can pay what you want to download the album here. - Joe Poteracki

Altamont Sunrise by Dragon King 

Published: January 12, 2011 |

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