Back in the day when I played in band called Leap of Faith, there was another band emerging on the scene, The Kingpin Wrecking Crew. I had a hard enough time learning how play blues on my plastique excuse for a guitar (i.e. Ovation) with my band, but I had no clue what to do the first time I hear The Kingpin Wrecking Crew. They were raw-energy, in-your-face, turn-table-sampling crazy brothers. We were more southern rock and classic blues whereas they were eclectic rock, old-school hip-hop, and funky jazz. Despite the fact that they opened for us at one gig, it’s telling that while Leap of Faith is extinct, The Kingpin Wrecking Crew is thriving.
Their newest CD release,“Abolition Strategy”, is hogging my mp3 player. I cannot stop listening to it. Check out the lyrics to the opening track “Reel to Real”:
Drink up while it’s warm. A time comes to plead. And give up a painful surrender indeed. “So sorry,” said Elated, “so glad,” said Forlorn. “I’m willing,” said Regret, “I’m ready,” said Not Yet. Changes upon changes stack up; so imperceptible. Its when I realize I’m empty; I’ll know whow it feels to be full. Like an enemy soldier, brought trembling before a conquering king to be tried. Only to be embraced, and kissed on the face and given a robe, ring and wine.”
The craziness never seems to end. Back in the late 90’s I met Doug Elder, the Kingpins lead vocalist/guitarist, at UMF. Fastforward to now, and we go to church together! Crazy huh! So needless to say, I know the man behind the music. There’s creativity, honesty, and passion in their music that not only makes CCM music look even silier than it really but also rarely found on the radio dial.
I love how Jesse Jordan captures what Kingpin is about in her review “As The Underground Rises”:
Having heard a breathtaking new cut called “Burn The Bridges” from their upcoming release, it is evident that the writing is on the wall. The musical underground is about to represent in a major way. More than just another musical fad to be devoured and regurgitated by the corporate rock machine; KingPin invites us into the very catacombs of the musical underground with them to show us where they live and breathe. Don’t be afraid of this subterranean journey, you’re with friends and they know the way. All you need to bring is everything you believe, feel, fear, and hope. You might just find your own voice for it all there in the process, after all your guides are music makers and dreamers of dreams.
Give ’em a listen. Let me know what you think.