Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lesser of two evils

When the Red Hot Chilli Peppers hit with Mother's Milk I think record labels started to take notice and see that there was a market for funk in the mainstream. Not too long after that Extreme started to make some bucks with the their blend of hard rock and kind of watered down funk. So in what would eventually be the final months of hard rock's big run there were a few funk/hard rock bands that got to release albums. I think the hope was this might open up hard rock to a new audience and keep it fresh. However it's not fresh if you just copy other bands which is what happened some extent. So it's....





White Trash-s/t

Kingofthehill would rate rather low on the funkometer as they are fairly subtle with their funk and they are very much more a hard rock band. White Trash are far more funk oriented, but not necessarily that original. So let's slap at our basses, pretend we have rhythm and get at it.


For Kingofthehill it's Frankie (yes, just a first name) against Dave Alvin for White Trash. Both guys are in tune and moderately fired up. Frankie is more a hard rock singer and he's fairly typical of the times, but he does a decent enough job at handling different paces. Dave Alvin comes across as a second rate Axl Rose trying to do funk. It's not that he can't sing, but he comes across as a little forced like he's trying to tie all the different trends into one song.

Point to Kingofthehill


We have Jimmy Griffin for Kingofthehill against Ethan Collins for White Trash. Jimmy Griffin is fairly run of the mill as this is just straight hard rock with light funk parts mixed in. He handles it okay, but not a lot of emotion or kick to his parts. It won't bore you to death, but it's not going to get anyone excited either. Ethan Collins has far more bite to his playing and he wastes little time. The downside is the lack of variation because most of the songs have the same pace, same tone and same feel. Still a few moments are better than none.

Point to White Trash

Rhythm section

Okay this was probably the only category that wasn't very close. For Kingofthehill it's George Potsos on bass and Vito Bono on drums going up against Aaron Collins on bass and Mike Coldarella on drums for White trash. The Kingofthehill guys are barely noticeable as I suppose they are getting it done, but they made no impression whatsoever. Now the White Trash pair are probably the heart of whatever slight force this band managed to muster. The best parts of their funk sound depend and are delivered by this fairly consistant pair.

Point to White Trash


Production is adequate on both albums so no advantage their. As I said earlier both bands were following trends although fairly recent trends at the time. What bothers me about White Trash is their inability to vary the style or tone much. Even though Kingofthehill are following a somewhat standard format they do mix it up a little.

Point to Kingofthehill

Who rocks more?

Another close contest as Kingofthehill might be tighter overall, but they don't know how to just let go and plunge forward. White Trash are not all that competent at it either, but they try and they even hit here and there. They don't necessarily take more chances, but the songs flow better. Kingofthehill are far more ordinary then I think they wanted to be.

Point to White Trash

That's wraps it up as White Trash take this funkfest 3-2 in a battle of the bands that time forgot. Both bands got some play on the Headbanger's Ball and I even remember hearing White Trash's "Apple Pie" on the radio. White Trash got some good reviews when it came out, but I didn't and still don't think it's as fresh as some people did. Kingofthehill were supposedly very big in their home of St. Louis and I heard more than one report that Frankie was a very good frontman. I think more than anything both bands suffered from releasing their debuts during a time when hard rock was being swept away. The labels were trying to get what they could out of their hard rock bands and of course the bigger names were the priority so it was sink or swim for bands like these guys.

I'll be back with another Lesser of two evils soon.

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Blogger Rhodeislandrock said...

'Apple Pie' alone should beat out Kingofthehill, that was a great tune. I have both of these albums but I haven't listened to either in a long while. I never picked up their second album -- Si O, Si Que? but I've read decent things.

Heavy Metal Addiction

10:30 AM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

You've picked two that i avoided. And I seem safe to have done so.

2:31 PM  

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