Album review: Sullivan King – LOUD

LA multi-instrumentalist Sullivan King goes metal with mixed results on LOUD.

Album review: Sullivan King – LOUD
James Hickie

'If you don’t wish to proceed on your current trip, we regret to inform you that the boarding doors have been securely locked,' we’re ominously told during LOUD’s opening track, And We Wish You The Best Of Luck. Thankfully, this half-hour in the cacophonous company of Keaton Prescott, better known as Sullivan King, is a trip worth taking.

LOUD is as OTT as you’d expect an album made by someone raised on a diet of Van Halen, emo, and EDM to sound. Unlike the raft of other artists melding genres until you can’t hear the joins, however, this blend isn’t a seamless one, but pulls in wildly different directions. More often than not, this services the material, particularly when, as on I’ve Got A Plan and One, they’re garnished with great melodies.

Some are leveraged by special guests. The best of these, the title track, features FEVER 333’s Jason Aalon Butler, who’s quickly becoming the king of the collaboration. His searing vocals are a winner, as are those of Underøath’s Aaron Gillespie on Dark Love, though both tracks are undermined by their electronic elements – leaden segues that succeed only in killing momentum. Venomous, with Spencer Charnas from Ice Nine Kills, is spared the cumbersome beats and all the better for it.

While Venomous feels effortless in its execution, there are moments when Sullivan is clearly going above and beyond in search of a hit. Scene Kids Unite is the most cloying example, with everything from its earnest delivery to its airy production seeming polished for an impact that doesn’t arrive. In short, then, LOUD is at its best when it’s being turbulent, not try-hard.

Verdict: 3/5

For fans of: Skrillex, Pendulum, twenty one pilots

LOUD is out now via Hopeless Records

Read this: Sullivan King: The DJ infiltrating rock by fusing riffs with electronica and dance

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