Texas King is a young four-piece band out of London, Ontario. The quartet met while studying Music Industry Arts at Fanshawe College. They soon started playing local clubs, and eventually moved on to touring across Ontario with the release of their self-titled debut EP.
The album opens on an uplifting note with “Paper Tiger”—Jordan Macdonald’s deep, husky vocals are offset by the cheerful strum of a guitar. Soon enough things pick up into a pop rock track with edge. The song knows when to build and when to rely on the youthful, energetic vocals on offer.
“Come Find Me” takes off some of the debut edge. Macdonald’s voice takes on a plaintive tone as the music plays languidly along with him. The song transitions from alternative rock to a bluesy combination that shows off some of their influences, including Gary Clark Jr.
Following suit is “Now You Know” where Macdonald eases up even more on the vocals and proves that he can take on a softer touch along with the emotionally filled choruses from the previous tracks. “All For Love” jolts right out of this with some heavy drumming right off the top. Macdonald’s vocals are also back in full-force, packing in enough emotional punch to almost overpower the drums.
“Foster Mountain” ends things on an in-between note. In an almost return to the beginning, the guitar takes on a gentle but assertive note, and Macdonald holds back on the vocals until the chorus, when he lets loose one more time.
There’s a youthful energy and openness to Texas King’s first release. The emotional sincerity on display catches you in and asks you to pause and pay attention. Macdonald’s unique vocals steal the show as he adds a husky edge to what could have otherwise been over-the-top pop rock. Instead, he, and the music working with him, shift things towards a lighter alternative rock note that promises to evolve as the band matures.
Top Track: “All For Love”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)