@kingbluesband have been one of my favourite bands when they come up on a playlist for some time. Unashamedly left wing and political, liberal and power-sceptical in their lyrics and towing an exhilarating line between Punk and Ska that quickly gets the party started.

This new album from Jonny ‘Itch’ Fox and co is a concept album focussing on the 38 minutes between a false missile threat alarm in Hawaii early last year and the time it was cleared as false. The stories of different people’s responses make up the tracks with narrative between.

The songs themselves hold up on their own and the narrative link just enhances the journey through this album.

Each track is a different style but done to a high detail and sheen and mirrors the different stories being told throughout. There is hardcore punk in This is Not A Drill, euphoric and liberating Get the Boat, bouncy but ruminative jaunt of I Ain’t Getting Out of Bed; going out on a high, end credits feel of Boomer; a borderline Jewish chair dance on Ray Of Light; the western saloon epic When I Die; the traditionally punk pop fair of Let’s Go Out in Style and the floaty optimistic and free vibe of Blissfully Unaware.

I Ain’t Getting Out of Bed – King Blues

There is something for everyone here without being spread too broad. It is remarkable that such a broad range can still feel very much parts of one whole that are then elevated by its packaging.

Hard to come by in physical form due to its Kickstarter making of but still on all streaming services. This should-be-more-popular Punk Ska outfit have returned with a cracker. It’s a shame it is unlikely to see wider recognition.

They end with a poignant question worth considering though: if you only had 38 Minutes left to live – how would you spend them?

(Originally published on Instagram – 18 August 2019)