KINGS OF NUTHIN’ - Old Habits Die Hard

Kings Of Nuthin’ - Old Habits Die Hard

18 songs
44:04 minutes
***** ****
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Kings Of Nuthin’ from Boston have been active since the end of the last millennium. Playing a great mix of punk, rock’n’roll and psychobilly, they are still able to set themselves apart from the majority of genre bands. One reason is doubtlessly their strange choice of instruments. The double bass may be used by many likewise minded artists, but piano, saxophone and washboard help to create their special sound. Their fourth album Old Habits Die Hard shows that Kings Of Nuthin’ are still sounding fresh after all these years.

The songs are played at a rather brisk pace and therefore rarely make it over three minutes. Exception to the rule is the nearly five minute long Congratulations, an impressively drunk sounding piano ballad strongly reminiscent of Tom Waits, but not exactly representative of the Boston band who most of the time work hard and successfully to keep their audience’s in a pleasant mood. The songwriting is quite simple, catchy, sometimes a little rough, but always appealing. Especially the piano and the horns give the music drive, so that listening is even fun without having to drink prior quantities of alcohol.

There is no trace of monotony, as Kings Of Nuthin’ seem to be full of ideas. Highlights are The List with its Louisiana touch, and Shitsville which reminds me of the Kinks. Their quiet side is displayed on Silver City, a countryesque song with a female guest singer.

Kings Of Nuthin’ have proved with Old Habits Die Hard that it is still possible to set new accents in the rockabilly genre. This works of course only when a band is ready and willing to open their minds to influences outside their templates. The guys did everything right and have thus come up with an album which is truly fun listening to.

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