Coming straight out of Flint, Michigan, a place commonly referred to as “Murdertown USA” thanks to an infamous New York Times article from 2011, is King 810, a band that launches a new album this week entitled Memoirs of a Murderer.
King 810 will be featuring throughout the week as our AMPED Band of The Week. To truly appreciate the band’s music though, you have to know from where it comes and what it’s purpose is. With a lot of bands, you can just throw a few tracks on and that’ll be the end of your listening experience. But King 810 demand more than that, and their music becomes more rewarding, the more you know about it. We’re going to let the band’s bio do the talking here, as their description of Memoirs of a Murderer is far more in-depth than we think we’d be able to muster from the outside.
You’ve never been somewhere like this before. You won’t forget it though. It’s only about six miles, and there’s no looming and booming metropolis to retreat to. Instead, wilderness chokes the outskirts as abandoned homes, warehouses, and factories line these streets that play host to thousands of faceless ghosts.
Flint, MI, the forgotten city, is where KING 810 call home and it’s the dystopian dwelling that sets the back drop for the band’s debut LP, Memoirs of a Murderer. With no mayor to preside over the bereft community and a miniscule police force, Flint, MI teaches its young to fend for themselves. Memoirs of a Murderer is an embodiment of KING 810’s life within this pressure cooker, a glimpse into the personal account of this disappearing metropolis where tree branches live longer than the children do.
Memoirs of a Murderer is a memoir of the life of frontman David Gunn set to the backdrop of Flint, MI. Cut to a crackling old tape recorder, Gunn’s narrative eclipses three distinct movements, traveling from a very real place down a rabbit hole into the abstract. The three movements align with Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of personality, in which the three elements of personality – known as the id, the ego and the superego – work together to create complex human behaviors.
Whether shootings at nine-years-old or knife fights as a pre-teen, the first act of Memoirs of a Murderer captures the violence that plagues the streets of Flint. Songs like the introductory tracks ‘Killem All’ and ‘Fat Around The Heart’ are blood-spattered evidence of that. This is a lament born out of the necessity for survival as Gunn and his bandmates – Andrew Beal (guitar), Eugene Gill (bass) and Andrew Workman (drums) – have formed a bond forged by the pressures of the streets. They are a family who look after each other, there is love in the belly of this beast.
The first of two spoken words found on Memoirs of a Murder transitions the record into its second movement where Gunn explores themes of love. Unlike the brotherhood discoursed in part one of the record, tracks like ‘Eyes’ and ‘Devil Don’t Cry’ immerse the album in echoes of lost love. Transcending the tangible, a second spoken word acts as the vehicle to the final segment of Memoirs of a Murderer which includes a message from Gunn’s mother urging him to let go of the violence back in the battlefields of Flint. During an extremely candid song, ‘Write About Us’, Gunn rattles off loved ones in his life by name—and their own trials. During the final musical memoir, ‘State of Nature’, Gunn pleads not for redemption but remembrance as what may or may not be left of him floats off into the ether, further than ever from where he first began this journey of self-examination.
These are David Gunn’s Memoirs, chilling and starkly poetic, introspective and brutally honest.
So, now you know all about the band, you should probably check out a track or two. Here’s “Fat Around The Heart” from the new album to get you started.
You can check out King 810’s Memoirs of a Murderer on iTunes now.