Kottonmouth Kings – Sunrise Sessions
2.) Love Lost
3.) Down 4 Life featuring Jared from HED P.E.
5.) My Garden
6.) Boom Clap Sound
7.) Back Home
8.) She’s Dangerous
9.) Ganja Daze
10.) Stay Stoned
11.) Stoned Silly
12.) Closing Time
14.) Great To Be Alive
15.) Be Alright
16.) Said & Done
The Pier Album Rating:
Record Label: Suburban Noize
Release Date: July 19th, 2011
Official Website: Kottonmouth Kings Website
The Kottonmouth Kings came together in 1994 from Orange County, CA. Out of their own power they built and have maintained an incredibly successful independent label named Suburban Noize Records for over fifteen years. They have sold over 2 million records independently and continue to perform sold-out shows across the country to this day.
They describe themselves as a psychedelic hip-hop punk rock band and during the time it took to produce seventeen studio albums, they continuously experimented with different beats and vocal delivery. In 2006, KMK headlined at the annual Cannabis Cup and was subsequently names “Band of the Year” by High Times Magazine.
The Kings have described their journey over the last few years as a metamorphosis for the Kings.
KMK has continued to experiment with their sound and are set to unleash their ground-breaking results with new album titled The Sunrise Sessions, described by Brad X of KMK as “a series of recordings that document the evolution and state of the band after fifteen years”.
You may read through the track list and immediately visualize that The Sunrise Sessions would be a typical big-beat, in-your-face KMK album. Instead the Kings tried something new with this release. There are heavy influences of reggae and even dubstep that reside in the album’s musical core. In this album, KMK continue to preserve a somewhat exclusive vocal identity but experiment with the innovative combination of several genres, a scene only a few groups have tapped in to.
The album begins with KMK welcoming you to Stonetown. The melody, created by a waltzing skank while verses are rapped. I’m not a huge fan of the chorus, but I like each of the verses rhythm, especially Dirtballs fluency through the cloud of smoke that puts Stonetown in a somewhat eerie setting.
My favorite song is Love Lost. The average bass line is instead replaced with a dubstep-infused wobble. Over a foggy skank, the kings split the microphone and spit off speedy hooks about girls that broke their hearts and abandoned them. Dirtball picks up the beat with his signature style. He begins his substantially long verse with, “Let me talk about it for a minute, let me tell you about a girl that broke my heart, I wish I could tell you it was just one girl but I got about thirteen scars”. It is a rhythmical masterpiece as Brad X, D-LOC, and Dirtball each crafted at least one verse with their complimentary skills and vocal delivery.
Down 4 Life also includes a dubstep wobble. Jared from the renowned (HED)P.E. also is featured on the track. They mention High Times Magazine in a verse that expresses their mutual love for weed. Great Day To Be Alive has decent reggae progression in which the members express their gratitude for life, while also accepting the ultimate fate that we all face as humans.
Another favorite was Back Home, an acoustic song with less intensity in which the members express that their homes are their favorite places to be. Their use of echoing synths and other effects fabricate an atmospheric vibe that is unmatchable throughout the album.
As a fan of big bass and D-LOC’s, Daddy X’s and Dirtballs rhythmic articulation, I enjoy this album just as much as their earlier albums such as High Society and Koast II Koast. Overall for the west-coast weed fiends, Sunrise Sessions is a great bounce back from a less-than stellar debut album with Dirtball. His role in this album was massive. The Northwest King’s energetic flow fits the musical mindset and production of this album quite a bit with more than Long Live the Kings. The album really captures the cali-mindset in which they aimed for. With that, I’d say KMK’s experiment with new hip-hop hybrids turned out successful.
Written & Reviewed by: Matt Emodi
[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer, expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, not the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]