Both aficionados and casual observers of rock have been vocalizing their desire to hear more vitality from the genre for a long while now, and in that spirit, the Florida underground’s Kings County are answering the call with a shot of life in the form of their new single “All That I Want,” a prime cut from their eponymous debut LP. The lauded track and its music video, both of which come in at around four minutes in total length, are as simple a rock n’ roll article as one could ask for, but while they aren’t the most sophisticated releases I’ve seen in the last few months, they’re easily some of the more critically fascinating. At its core, “All That I Want” asks us to throw any preconceived notions we might have about what rock is supposed to be in 2020 to the wayside in favor of embracing a set of raw, riff-powered grooves that demand a reaction from even the most devoted of wallflowers.
The guitar attack in this song is retro metal to the max, but that’s about the only component of the track that could be described as throwback-ish. The production style, the arrangement, even the way that the vocal is mixed directly into the twists and turns in the beat; all of these elements are contemporarily stylized and on par with what I would expect out of a modern alternative rock band, sans the pomp and synthesized melodicism that has become standard among guitar-driven groups in the 21st century.
Though the vocals and the string play are magnetizing, the drums are probably my favorite part of “All That I Want.” They’re evocative on so many different levels, both acting as a counterbalance to the singer’s dagger-like verses and as a steady-handed guide point to the more raucous components in the song. A lot of rock bands have the same pummeling intensity that Kings County do, but among those with the strongest songwriting skills, there aren’t many that have as talented a drummer as this group does; a factor that, in my opinion, will lead them to a lot more success in the long-run than their major label equivalents will see as the 2020’s go on.
I hadn’t really heard much about Kings County before I got ahold of the new single “All That I Want” and subsequently explored their debut album, but I can confidently say that they’re offering more meat in their music than most anyone in the mainstream is right now. Their anti-authority attitude and riffs-before-righteousness aesthetic aren’t found very often in rock n’ roll anymore, but if they’re able to get this single into rotation on the FM dial this late winter season, they’re going to satisfy a lot of listeners who have been aching for a sound like theirs for over a decade now. They’re entering the game at a pivotal moment in the history of pop/rock, and if “All That I Want” is a preview of their future, they’re going to have an absolutely amazing career ahead of them.