KingBathmat- Truth Button
  • Production
  • Composition
  • Originality
  • Musicianship
  • +5 Lyrics of Thought-Provoking Relevance

When I heard the name KingBathmat, I thought to myself, “What a weird name! Could such a band be the solution to my post-Sleepytime depression?” Sadly, the answer is no, as the music is not quite as eccentric as such a name might imply. However, I had little time for disappointment as KingBathmat’s latest album Truth Button is full of excellent proggy goodness.

KingBathmat hails from England, proudly demonstrating their English heritage with influences such as Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath keenly felt throughout their latest album, Truth Button. Truth Button is their sixth album since their debut in 2003. Their experience of a decade or more is evident in the tight songwriting, flawless execution, and quality production.

While exhibiting a diverse array of influences, the end result is nevertheless very coherent and effective. For example, the first song “Behind the Wall” begins with a classic heavy metal style riff, which suddenly transitions into a dreamy arrangement of spacey guitars and delicate synths, yet the transition doesn’t feel jarring. Each change is perfectly accentuated by the drums, and the bass alternates between grooving through dreamy guitar-keyboard psychedelia and doubling the guitar parts with heavy forcefulness. This excellent instrumental cake is then iced with rich vocal layers, often with a catchiness that any pop artist would envy.

While each song is distinct, the overall tone set by the first track remains coherent throughout the album, though at times darkened (as the heavy opening riff and brooding basslines of “Abintra” demonstrate) and lightened (like the upbeat, almost peppy tone of “Dives and Pauper”). Given the albums unifying lyrical themes, this consistent musical mood is wonderfully effective. It also means that Truth Button is best enjoyed as an album, though each song is excellent on its own.

The lyrics explore “an underlying theme of technophobia and social disconnection…[and] call for the advancement of technology to be employed to make the truth more transparent…” according to KingBathmat’s bandcamp page. This theme is especially relevant to our current technology saturated world. We have a wealth of information at our fingertips, thanks to technology such as the internet, yet we use it so often for mere entertainment rather than arming ourselves with the truth necessary to stand up to power and seriously question the status quo. Ever-prevalent technology often pacifies rather than enlightens, and erodes rather than strengthens personal relationships. Not that electronic entertainment is inherently bad (like internet blogs about progressive music, or even video games), but entertainment and distraction should not be the dominant, let alone sole use of modern technologies.

Rich musical arrangement with a diverse yet unified assortment of influences accompanied by thought-provoking, socially relevant lyrics? What more could anyone ask for? In a word, this album is awesome! Give it a listen (and a purchase) at KingBathmat’s bandcamp page.