Critics have been getting excited about rockers Kings County since the 2019 release of their eponymous debut, and for good reason – riddled with strong-armed, rhythmic hard rock elements that their peers have mostly abandoned, the group’s sound follows the beat of its own drum both literally and figuratively, frequently bringing to mind some of the greatest entities in the history of the genre. Their guitar parts are studded with texture but sleekly appointed with an EQ that doesn’t over-exploit the distortion. The bass is bulging, but never so much so that we lose sight of its intricate arrangement and the interactions it shares with the drums. From a percussion-lovers point of view, tracks like Kings County’s new single “All That I Want” present a flood of beats that are as important to the integrity of the composition as any of the melodic components are, with the groove meeting the flowing poetry of the lead singer in often perfect unison. “All That I Want” is breaking down plenty of mainstream doors for the group this January, and whether we’re taking in its music video or just the single by itself, we feel every bit of muscle that the band wanted us to.
The mechanics of the chorus in this track aren’t that different from what we would hear in a pop song, only they come to us filtered through a heavy metal-minded framework unutilized by many of today’s most revered rock bands. Kings County wants us to ascend with them up the latter of an organic harmony in the hook before ripping away our footing and allowing for us to tumble into the groove alongside the drums, creating a lot of additional tension on the backend of what would otherwise be described as a highly cathartic chorus. It’s 80’s-esque but not so removed from the contemporary artistry of underground hard rock that we feel like we’re listening to a cover band, and for a group like Kings County, that’s as important as solidifying a lyrical narrative is (if not a lot more in instances like “All That I Want.”
Kings County are living up to the buzz and then some in their first album and its cornerstone single, and though they’re not getting as much love from the mainstream media as they are the indie press, I don’t think they care all that much. They don’t cross me as a band immersed in the politics of ego, and if they are, they’re doing a great job of setting all of that aside for the sake of their craft in “All That I Want” and the other eight songs included on the Kings County LP. Their sophomore album will tell us a lot more about their longevity and staying power as a group, but until that record arrives, this track is enough for me to stay tuned to this band’s dispatches as a studio act. Florida has produced some incredible rock music in the past, and this crew may well be its most recent export of supreme value.