King Parrot - Dead Set (EVP Recordings)

Coruscating.
Release Date: 
14 May 2015 - 11:30pm

In one of those amazing, you-didn’t-see-it-coming turn of events that keeps us all on our toes and makes heavy metal the enduring love of our lives it always has, is and ever will be, King Parrot have seemingly gone – in less time than to took to type that last sentence – from being lovable local roustabouts to world-bestriding colossi. The darlings of the world’s metal press, close personal friends of Phil Anselmo, heroes of Rage-style vid clip shows everywhere, the Parrots have got the world at their reeking, plimsol-shod feet.

But will it go to their heads?

On the evidence of a few listens to Dead Set, their second full lengther, the answer at this stage would appear to be no. Dependably grindworthy, thrashing like a maniac where necessary, but always heavy – so very, very heavy – Dead Set transcends the ‘difficult second album’ syndrome to sit proudly amongst the best Australian heavy music has had to offer in the first half of 2015.

Opener Anthem of the Advanced Sinner sets the tone, melding a fine set of Anthrax-style thrash riffage to the horrifying, seemingly helium-fuelled screech of Matt Young (and, whilst those riffs might be sourced from elsewhere, that voice is Young’s and Young’s alone) with predictably devastating consequences for anybody within earshot, most notably my wife who professed to feeling ‘physically sick’ after being subjected to a blast of the track in Sydney’s Utopia Records the other day. Like a Rat is pure grinding mayhem of the first order, whilst Tomorrow Turns to Blood lurches out of the speakers and delivers a belching broadside of old-school death metal filth rarely heard from the lungs of ‘young’ bands in 2015; Anselmo’s much trumpeted production work captures the filth and fury of KP if not perfectly then pretty bloody well – like him or loathe him, he knows his metallic onions and he and the band have constructed a sonic shitstorm of seismic proportions on Dead Set, the overall effect being that of a burst of dirty thunder overhead that presages a deluge of human waste matter from the heavens all over your carefully-coiffured locks.

Home is Where the Gutter Is is similarly punishing, whilst Sick in the Head ups the speed (though not the intensity), but the ecstatic agony your ears are experiencing doesn’t last much beyond this, as wisely the band limit the punishment here to ten tracks and half an hour lest the effect of all this aural battering be lost due to lack of brevity; That said, there’s a strong likelihood you’ll be pushing the start button on your portable device as soon as Dead Set finishes, such is the curiously addictive nature of the sonic abuse the band deals out in gratifyingly ramshackle fashion, and a dreamy few hours later you’ll be left wondering whether the phrase ‘glutton for punishment’ was invented solely for you and your relationship with this most exciting of albums. Must-have stuff.