In My Vein
‘In My Vein’ Their last song ‘Down Here’ reached No. 54 on iTunes and now King Cujo is back with ‘In My Vein’, ready to climb their way even further up the rankings. Not willing to settle for anything less than top, the band moves from strength to strength, powering their way up the charts as each new single for their album ‘Lost Inside the Landfill’ is revealed. As the song’s title promises, the reverberant sound and gravelly vocals of this single offer listeners a dose of King Cujo’s musical talent directly to the vein. The addictive melody seems to permeate every body part and you’d better hold on to your headphones or the music might sweep you away. The repeated motif of the opening verse is accompanied by some futility-tinged lyrics, ‘tangled up in chains/fire shots at nothing’. This is fittingly paired with the insistence of the bass and guitar as well as the propulsive drum beat, trapping the listener in a dizzying, immersive whirlpool of sound. Head reeling, the only response is to sway amidst the swirling instruments like ‘a moth to the flame’, or like the darker image invoked of a ‘lamb to the wolf-pack’. We can’t help but feel lulled into a nightmarish vision of repetition, inaction and beneath it, some kind of simmering rage. The reprieve comes with a sustained note, rasped out with grit and emotion by Kevin Dawson and held throughout the chorus like an echo. Never buried by the heavier drums and bass, this higher-pitched note floats effortlessly over the top of the music. Perhaps a cry of anguish, restlessness, rebellion or all three combined, it creates a complex layering of voice, melody and beat, contributing to the immersion of the listener. Similarly to ‘Down Here’, the middle of the song features a pared-back section in which the bass and guitar are completely stripped back. Zooming in on the voice brings listeners’ focus to the lyrics, heard now in isolation. The drumsticks almost seem to tiptoe over the drums here, softly yet continuously maintaining suspense while allowing the power of the vocals to dominate. You’ll be holding your breath until the chorus rushes thunderously back again, along with the bass and guitar. After a final repetition of ‘in my vein’, left impactfully hanging over the listener, the lyrics dye out. The final minute of the song is devoted to music alone and the instruments claim their stage by carrying the melody. Layers of sound overlap and ensnare without losing the essence of the track and the disorientating sense of immersion continues beyond the last note. Emily Warner / https://erwarner10.wixsite.com/emilywarner
Making No SOund
'Down Here' Down Here was released on 28th October 2022 and was the first single from British trio King Cujo's upcoming album Lost Inside The Landfill and sees the band burst from the gates with a huge, floor-stomping riff that grabs you by the ears demanding attention. With its thunderous drums from sticks man Jamie Hook, delicious bass from Ben Keep and wall-to-wall guitars from frontman Kevin Dawson, the song delivers the sort of screaming sing-along response that will leave you clutching a sore throat but highly satisfied. Down Here does offer some dynamic surprises with a stripped back guitar solo and verse allowing you to take a breather before dialling the intensity back to 11! Lyrically taking aim at authority using religious imagery, the song is at times both defiant and fearful at once. ‘Praying but not to a god, because gods are what kill in this place’ precede the final explosive chorus before Dawson declares he is ‘Down Here, sat with a devil who’s hungry for sin’. The song surges to the end with a plethora of rock-drenched noise leaving you to merely gather your senses wondering what just happened.
‘Making No Sound’ North London heavy rockers King Cujo are set to launch into the release year of their comeback album ‘Lost Inside The Landfill’ with its third single, ‘Making No Sound’. Workshopped as early as 2002, it is a melodic, brooding, emotive number tackling topics of loneliness and mental health. While a more pensive cut than the rollicking ‘Down Here’ and thumping ‘In My Vein’ that precede it, plenty fire and brimstone made its way from those early-2000s studio sessions into this polished work twenty years in the making. Wasting no time in beginning proceedings, the rhythm section of bassist Ben Keep and drummer Jamie Hook immediately lay down the perpetual-motion groove that constantly drives the track forward. Kevin Dawson’s mournful, plaintive vocals lay atop this rhythmic bed, harmonised with backing vocals that occasionally call for attention – or perhaps help? – with a distant “hey!”. Less than thirty seconds into the track, there is already a strong sense of what this track is about even just from the mere feel of the music – King Cujo’s matured comeback sound is exemplary in its ability to make you feel what the lyrics are directly telling you. Indeed, Dawson makes no attempt to conceal in lyrical veils the topics covered by ‘Making No Sound’. While on ‘Down Here’ he was inspired to fight and call to arms by being down in the pits of hell, being in a lower place here leaves Dawson feeling powerless and alone – having his “head stuck in the ground / the bugs in [his] ears just crawling around”, the frontman leaves no room for imagination the feelings of helplessness experienced during depressive episodes. There is an importance to the directness of these lyrics, as the chorus evolves from a repetition of the song’s title to “I’m making no sound / I’ll never be found” – in a mental health pandemic where many people feel anxious or scared to talk about their feelings, this is in fact the one thing that will directly not help at all. Exemplary and essential lyricism and word painting from Dawson and King Cujo. As with the preceding singles, King Cujo’s grasp of dynamics and structure on ‘Making No Sound’ is unparalleled. Dawson’s arpeggiated guitar lines as seen on those 2002 tapes are a perfect foil to transition between the stripped back verses to the expansive walls of sound surrounding each refrain, simultaneously building tension and adding emotive texture to the track. When they come, each chorus feels like an impassioned confession, an outpouring of feelings made all the more poignant by the rest of the track in context. With the final solo section fading back into the bass and drums that began the track, remaining is a real aura of importance around this track and this band. With ‘Making No Sound’, King Cujo are turning the personal into the universal, shining the spotlight on concerns of mental wellbeing and loneliness in a fiercely relatable way. Set for release in January, if you aren’t on the King Cujo bandwagon by this third single, you’ll be missing out on one of the biggest comeback stories of this century so far. David Harrold - She's So Vinyl - https://linktr.ee/davidh214
Kent/London trio King Cujo are back with Lost Inside The Landfill, their first full album in 18 years, on February 10th 2023!
They’ve released two singles from the upcoming album ‘Down Here’ and ‘In My Vein’ in late 2022, which have now been played on over 200 radio stations across the UK, including the ‘Track of the Week’ playlist on Planet Rock. Their third and final single release before the album launch will be ‘Making No Sound’ released on 27th January.#
When the band last released music back in 2006, they did so against a markedly different musical backdrop, and what was at that point to be the final chapter of 6 interesting years, which took in the tragic loss of member James Norton, sharing the stage with bands such as Jet, Razorlight and The Subways, winners of the Virgin Radio Unsigned, ITV London Tonight Unsigned and Lee Jeans Unsigned Competitions, being the face of Channel4Music and Pepe Jeans.
Lost Inside The Landfill also sees a maturity in the band’s sound. Moving forward, sometimes drastically, from the band’s early power-chord, garage-rock roots, the new album sees the band explore new sonic terrain, from the thunderously dynamic forthcoming single ‘Down Here’ to the sprawling soundscape of the anthemic Roses.
Singer/Guitarist Kevin Dawson, bassist Ben Keep and drummer Jamie Hook, have lost none of their edge, vitality and impact since returning from the wilderness, despite the trio now being spread between North London and Hythe, and instead have pushed their sound to greater, more layered depths.
Reuniting after a 16-year hiatus King Cujo, formally known as Cujo, are back with their new single “Down Here”. The three-piece band decided to reform after a lockdown video made for social media brought the band together again. The North London based group bring a recharged energy with their new studio album due to be released early next year. The band’s reformed and exciting new sound is full of energy and life - exciting the listener and bringing a promise of what is to come. Setting the scene straight away the track springs to life with heavy distorted guitar riffs and a pounding kick drum. The bright and cymbal heavy drum pattern provides energy and thrills. The raspy and powerful vocals enjoy a ‘back and forth’ with the dark guitar riffs . Contrasting the lyrical story of remaining calm and tranquil with someone else who is deliberately ‘reckless’. The track cleverly maintains its energy with full instrumental breaks in between the vocals. The song ramps up into a chorus of multitracked backing vocals. Harmonising lines and grungy vocals singing the phrase “like a bird with no wings”. Guitar riffs full of bends and slides lead into an expressive solo on top of a more stripped back drum pattern. The track breaks into a texturally open section where we hear the vocals at their most vulnerable. The drums build energy alongside a static feedback sound from the guitars to build to the track’s most exciting moment, the final chorus. It moves into a new section lyrically as ‘broken promises are explored and further depth is provided by the layered backing vocals thickening out the texture. The drums are full of high energy fills and cymbal hits while the guitar lines embellish a previously heard riff with distorted countermelodies moving through the piece. The track leaves you stunned with a brief moment of echoing drums and bass with cymbals ringing out. This track is the perfect way to say, ‘we are back’. It shows the skill and passion of the musicians at their best and plays upon the intricacies you can hear throughout the song. The good news is the whole album continues with the same vibe and characteristics and is a joy to listen to. Keep an eye out since King Cujo are here to stay. Nina McKendrick Music Journalist https://www.ninamckendrick.com/ https://www.instagram.com/ninamckendrick/
Down Here Reviews
King Cujo Burst Back Onto The Scene With ‘Down Here’ 2022 could be labelled as the year of the comeback for the music industry. Live music has returned with a passion in this first largely unaffected post-pandemic year, alongside a glut of artists releasing their first new tracks in several years. No comeback could be considered as long-awaited as that of King Cujo, however – after a 16 year wait since their last release, the North London three-piece return with new single ‘Down Here’, first offering from album ‘Lost Inside The Landfill’. The band have certainly lost none of the momentum of their early 2000s hard rocking tracks as Cujo, which earned them several awards and opportunities to share the stage with classic bands such as Jet, Razorlight, and The Subways. ‘Down Here’ combines politically charged lyrics and aggression with a more polished, mature sound, proving that the fire that fuelled their early career remains in abundance and is ready to be aimed at the powers that be. Forming both the introduction to King Cujo’s return and their new record, ‘Down Here’ hits hard with an assured swagger that will immediately draw listeners in to their new sound. Moving forward from the iconoclastic power chord-heavy garage-rock sound of before, the band open and build the track around a storming, start-stop lick. Doubled between frontman-guitarist Kevin Dawson and bassist Ben Keep, the riff builds and releases tension with manipulative ease. The music of ‘Down Here’ is indeed a masterful example of the use of dynamics for dramatic effect. The muted nature of the verses allow the riff to burst through with added vitriol, and the sparse middle-eight solo and refrain makes the final breakdown hit like a tonne of bricks. Drummer Jamie Hook’s performance in these last sections is exemplary, skipping along on the ride and striking the bass and toms thunderously, raising anticipation for these final moments. Keeping listeners on their toes for the entire four-minute track, King Cujo consider every note resulting in a real tour-de-force reintroduction to the music world. While you might expect a band to politically mellow out 16 years on from their initial hiatus, there are no such signs of this in the lyrics of ‘Down Here’. The melting pot that is British politics post-Brexit referendum has given Dawson plenty to write about, and the religious metaphor throughout this opener resonates particularly well in this current climate. The repeated refrain of “Praying but not to a god / Because gods are what kill in this place” evokes images of the desperate situation many UK families find themselves in and the lack of help available from the politicians who are meant to run this country, and the final chorus of “Down here, sat with a devil who’s hungry for sin” calls to action those fighting for change. Combining these pertinent and incendiary lyrics with the storm whipped up by the band, King Cujo return to the fold with an out-and-out barnstormer of a track in ‘Down Here’. Released this Friday October 28 ahead of the February 2023 release of ‘Lost Inside The Landfill’, this comeback story is certainly one to follow from its first steps. David Harrold Music Journalist She's So Vinyl https://linktr.ee/davidh214
If soaring energy prices will keep you cold this autumn, the politically charged new single ‘Down Here’ by King Cujo can certainly inject some heat back into your day. Perhaps the catastrophic state of British politics isn’t benefiting your bank account but it has provided plenty of ammunition for the music scene. Exploding back into recognition after sixteen years King Cujo are making a blazing return with the album ‘Lost Inside the Landfill’ to be released 10th February 2023. The first instalment of this is ‘Down Here’ and none of the band members are slacking, despite their long break, in this tour-de-force of Alternative Rock. Declared ‘Track of the Week’ on Planet Rock, ‘Down Here’ has reached No. 54 on iTunes and it’s not difficult to hear why; the power behind the track could probably climb its way up the charts through sheer force. It’s a sensory overload in the best way possible. The perfect way to drown out the world and descend ‘Down Here’ where the simmering rage of England is transmuted into impressive drums, pervasive guitar and gritty vocals. Frontman guitarist Kevin Dawson and bassist Ben Keep maintain a catchy riff throughout which you’ll be humming for the rest of your day. This swells and fades alongside the other layers in the song creating a surprising yet delightful depth; the perfect compliment to the track's authority-combative lyrics. On the drums, Jamie Hook lives up to his name, hooking listeners with a profusion of symbol clashes and heavy percussion that contribute to the gritty energy of the sound. The middle of the song sees the drums fade to a gentle backdrop, subtly yet pervasively sustaining the energising beat. This pared back section is dynamically surprising. Contrary to losing the energy of the track, it builds suspense to the breaking point; the musical equivalent of tiptoeing around in preparation for a surprise party. The guitar impresses with a solo before the drums announce their arrival for the song’s climax. Impressive power fuels the conclusion of the song with its scream-out-loud, stamp-your-feet, (wake-up-the-neighbours) climax. The refrain ‘Down here’ reverberates around you; sung over the musical uproar with a delicious grit which contrasts its repetition by the smoother backing vocals. These slightly haunting iterations of the song's title are followed by, ‘sat with a devil who’s hungry for sin’, an anger-packed summation of the whole track and the context it emerged from. The viewer is plunged once more into the main riff before they are left to comprehend what can only be described as an immersive musical experience. Not a song for the faint hearted, it is impossible not to invest yourself entirely in the music; in its explosive layers, sore-throat-inducing vocals and resonant drums. ‘Down Here’ whips up a storm of seditious intent. Your throat may never forgive you but your ears will be forever grateful; this is a comeback you don’t want to miss. Emily Warner Music Journalist https://erwarner10.wixsite.com/emilywarner https://www.beautyandthebeastpublishing.net/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/emily-warner-44991a1a1/