Review – Kingpin: Demo 2013

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Review – Kingpin: Demo 2013
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Kingpin: Demo 2013
July 8th, 2013
Release length: 8:50
The Kingpin in question is the four piece Hardcore group out of Glasgow, Scotland. With nods to bands like Merauder, Madball, and even Sepultura listed as influences, their style has been categorized between Crossover Thrash Metal and Groove Metal, but the most obvious is Hardcore. In July, the group recorded their first demo, aptly titled Demp 2013, and, while admitting it’s rather raw, they made it available on Bandcamp for free. But, is this a debut worth even taking the time to download, let alone experience in full?

Immediately its clear this is a lower quality basement studio recording, but that isn’t really a issue thanks to the solid aggressvive and commanding performances similar to bands like Agnostic Front and the aforementioned Madball. This is on display after the surprisingly rough kick start of “Former Glory,” hitting you with catchy riffs that do show a hint of Crossover Thrash at times that lead to a slow, intimidating breakdown the lower instrument levels create. The lead vocals and gang chants, however, are louder, showing some of the faults that normally would be masked, such as the popping when words that start with “p” or “t” are done. Sadly, the main shouting doesn’t offer too much range either, but suits the attitude the band and their music is going for overall.

“Choking Dust” picks up the pace with tighter riffs that offer a subtle Groove during some of the faster riffs, though the chorus and creeping bridge about two-minutes in hook the listener the most. The performance here is the strongest of the three, though some of the Punk fused riffs during “Bitches Leave” add to the aggression of the demo. Lyrically, it does sound a bit cheesy, even out of place given the previous two songs seem more like they take after the inner strength and brotherhood breed of Hardcore, but still makes for a track guaranteed to get the pit going like crazy.

The only complaint about this demo, really, lies in the vocals. While the lack of range isn’t a major gripe, it’s the odd levels that erupt, some as if the vocalist stepped backed from the microphone entirely. Obviously this is no fault of the band, but rather the producer(s) not paying attention to levels, or having something in front of the mic to catch the pops from certain words. Other than that, Kingpin‘s first outing is definitely a strong one with as equal a promise by the claim of a fifteen-year anniversary reissue in the Bandcamp statement. While it clearly is meant as a shot against anti-raw audio listeners, it still stands a bold statement that has the potential to stand the test of time.

01. Former Glory – 2:41
02. Choking Dust – 3:39
03. Bitches Leave – 2:29
Initial Pressing Score: 8.5/10


Digital review copy of this release provided by Kingpin.