Lewis Tanguay - Review At Section 3
Nicky Baxter - Review At Metro
Jon Bartlett - Review At The Brunswickan
Various - Reviews At My Strands
Mark French - Review At Uppity Music
S.H. FERNANDO JR For Rolling Stone
In 1993, new kingdom gave the finger to the gangsta-rap establishment with their brash, ballsy debut, Heavy Load. The duo drops an even heavier load on its second outing, flaunting a slower, lower sound oozing with dense beats, grungy power chords and subterranean bass. Grinding dirges like "Shining Amour," with its goth-metal attitude, and "Terror Mad Visionary," which sounds like Black Sabbath with an SP-1200 drum machine, snap and crackle like vintage vinyl - but probably won't go "pop" as long as pseudopunk and soft rap rule the charts.
It's bound to make no difference to these brothers from another planet, MCs Nosaj and Sebastian, who spout about rockets to "Andrumidia" and declare, "Nowadays when I write/The forces send me voices." Nosaj sums it up in "Half Asleep": "Say it loud. I'm a freak and I'm proud." But half the time, it's tough to decipher what either of them is saying behind the wall of low-fi processing that turns their words into pure sounds and noise into rhythm. Basement beats courtesy of producer Scott Harding (also known as Scotty Hard), a live drummer, turntable scratches and gritty guitar licks all stick to these voices like butter on biscuits, proving that while paradise may not be cheap, it is definitely dirty.
New Kingdom scores for mixing punk rock, folk
Tim Matthews - Columbia Chronicle Correspondent
Beck and the Beastie Boys have racked up accolades by mixing punk rock and folk music with hip hop rhythms and beats. Now into this fertile new territory stomps New Kingdom, a bracing two-man crew with an equal disdain for genre boundaries and limitations.
"Paradise Don't Come Cheap" is a relentless, gloriously in-your-face affair, with thundering, lurching beats colliding again and again with insistent wah-wah guitars and boozy horns. Jason Furlow and Sebastian Laws punch their raps through distortion devices and over an edgy assortment of feedback squawks and squeals.
Lyrically, much of "Paradise" addresses a reliable old topic-the road trip as a journey both physical and mental-but with a hip hop and indie rock sensibility. That means there's time for a touch of social commentary ("Infested"), and plenty of wigged-out lines about unicorns and even the "Hey you guys!" tagline from the old "Electric Co." kids TV show.New Kingdom has created some inspired mayhem here, music that is funky yet experimental, dangerous yet funny and thoughtful.
From Vigilante.co.uk (Closed)
New Kindom treat you like a basketball, bouncing you off the floor for close to an hour, only to slam dunk you on the final buzzer. Wielding megaphones, the screams of Jason Furlow and Sebastian Laws cut you like a surgeon's scalpel. Squeaking feedback, swirling guitars and Jon Spencer style drums put you through the blender, swirling you to a mash. 'Kickin' Like Bruce Lee' beats you like you've just offended the Shao Lin Temple. Ears taking a pounding, your mind abused by Furlow's crazed verbal attack, you lay in a bloody heap, defeated Mortal Kombat-style in two perfect rounds!
Like nothing I've heard before, Paradise Don't Come Cheap is the sort of album that you need to listen to whilst simultaneously playing the most violent of video games. Check them out at the Reading Festival with caution! (JG)
Howard Petruziello @ Penduluminc.com (Closed)
I'm pretty sure that New Kingdom's Jason Furlow and Sebastian Laws are completely out of their minds, but I'm also positive that they've made an incredibly interesting hip-hop record that unselfconsciously steps well outside of the often stale genre's rigid ropes. Firmly planted in rap, but freely incorporating rock, funk, industrial and soul while scrapping the first's sample-heavy production ethos (only two on the disc), in favor of a live band, New Kingdom seduce you into a trance with huge beats, greasy wah-wah guitar (imagine a 45 of Hendrix' "Voodoo Child" being played at 33, or Funkadelic's Eddie Hazel's oozing, psych-soulfulness), random dissonant noise and general good time soul.
The guilty party behind New Kingdom's mesmerizing tracks is DJ/producer Scott Harding. Harding accosts the ears and the mind with a barrage of dense sounds, at times chaotic and confusing while strangely soothing at others. More revealing with each listen, the grooves recall the full-on sonic blast dropped by the Bomb Squad on Public Enemy's classic albums, but where the Squad's noise had a metered, almost militaristic feel, New Kingdom's sound is more free-flowing and elastic--like PE after too much cough syrup. Witness the soaring guitar on "Big 101/2," the swinging, straight-off-a-'60s-Stax-recording horns on "Mexico or Bust," and the lethargic beats and bass on "Animal" and you know that if you rummaged through the guy's rooms you'd find Run-DMC, Schooly-D, Aretha, Zappa and Public Image Ltd records all sharing box space and sci-fi books, stems and seeds not too far away. It is here that the comparisons stop. Though you may hear hints of influence, the music is 100% New Kingdom and it's (take your pick) 1. Brilliant 2. Whack. 3. Unique 4. All of the above.
Paradise Don't Come Cheap outweirds Heavy Load, their 1993 debut which firmly established them as outsiders. It's harder, trippier, rawer--Furlow's voice still sounds like an inebriated Fred Sanford when he was really pissed at LaMonte while Laws' exasperated rants are loaded with effects--and at times more poetic. The words flow like a cool stream on "Unicorns Were Horses," "Unicorns were horses/Nowadays when I write/The forces send me voices/Got me runnin through mazes/Drivin' down superhighways phazin phrases/My ways is dangerous on an open road/Daddy still got me truckin' this heavy load/Guess it just beez like that sometimes," while they hit like a high pressure hose on "Kickin' Like Bruce Lee," "Got my amps up way past eleven/My 808 gots my speakers shakin'/I know that you hate the walls vibrating/Shit's kickin' like Bruce Lee." No bitches, hos, gold chains or gats here. New Kingdom's inspiration comes from the streets of an active/stimulated mind rather than the hood. In "Animal," Furlow, in his unique, seemingly random cadence, lazily testifies, "I lay in a tent in the middle of a big old garage/My mind ain't nothin' but a big old collage."
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