Men Amongst Kings are a young and emerging four-piece from Medway. I don’t quite know what to describe them as, being self-labelled as ‘progressive stuff’ on their Facebook. However, I think they land in the more emotive side of pop-punk, and lend themselves to a crowd that reminisces of the mid 2000s. Fronted by a female singer (Lizzie Andrew), and with emotional undertones some would surely describe as being Paramore-esque, this band seem to show a lot of promise.
The questionably named, ‘It’s All Wrong, But Not For Long‘ is their second EP, which was released in April this year.
We are introduced to the EP with ‘Staying Strong‘. I like the style. It’s unique in it’s own way, establishing a simple, chord-driven and riffy backline, that makes for a solid opener. With Lizzie Andrew’s inventive and melodic vocals complementing the recipe, this song provides a decent taste of the band’s direction, and remains true to it’s title.
The first time I played ‘Resolution‘, the second track of the EP, I was enticed into thinking it was a more downtempo, sentimental shift to the EP, with a chill intro. But I was wrong. A mega catchy, pop-punky riff materializes out of nowhere, and for me, evoked the feeling of summer and getting pissed with my mates. I like this one. The melodies are well written, telling a story of their own, and again, Lizzie Andrew’s vocals are on point. The drum track and riff heavy backline make this one a track to turn your speakers up to 11 for.
The third track, ‘Empty Hopes‘, is what I initially thought the second track was going to be. A slower paced track, that the audience might call for if they know your band. And it’s strong. Granted, it’s a bit rough around the edges. But if professionally produced, and a couple of things added, such as strong vocal harmonies, I believe this could be a massive one I’d hold my pint up to.
I don’t really get the final track. It’s a remix by some fella called TOWRIS (the internet and I haven’t heard of him either) of one of their old songs on their first EP entitled ‘Loveless‘. Yea, it’s a decent idea, bringing in a fresh new sound to the EP with a sampled drumbeat and bouncy synth parts. I actually quite enjoyed it. But to me it feels out of place. Interesting, but a strange ending to the record.
Overall, I give this EP a well earned three out of five Jellyfish. Everyone knows you need four or five jellyfish to make a banging aquarium, but three can still make a cheeky water feature. This EP is a diamond in the rough. It definitely has some shaky parts that need some more polishing. But while I’m inclined to imagine some of the tracks could be complemented by a greater level of musical depth or even be replaced (track 4), this EP still holds true, and it feels like a very early version of what could be a very good band.
Enjoy your three jellyfish.