When the Carbonas died, Atlanta wept. Mothers and children, left orphaned by the deceased, wandered the streets with tears streaming mottled faces. Strong and silent men struggled to maintain composure, and they retreated to basement workbenches, biting lips, cracking knuckles, running hands through thinning hair, sullenly wondering: “Why?” Skies darkened. A palpable feeling of devastating loss plagued the city. Nay, the world.
Thankfully, ex-frontman Greg “GG” King wasted little time in yanking up his knickers and pursuing new noise. He wrote a series of tunes not unlike those he contributed to the Carbonas â€“ that winning mix of hyperstrummed ’70s Europunk and brawny stateside r’n’r pummel intact â€“ and amassed a crew of friends and former bandmates to help him flesh out the din. He released a handful of solid teaser singles, played a number of good shows. He reasserted himself as one of Atlanta’s greatest exports.
And now, with the release of Esoteric Lore, his first full-length longplayer, the venerable GG King moves beyond his old guard, skindiving in new sinkholes.
Yes, herein we find some highly Carbonic moments â€“ traces of Hubble Bubble, The Kids, Zero Boys, et. al. â€“ but we also hear the King & Co. vamp on vibes harnessed only previously by goth-punk forebears: early Christian Death, 45 Grave. We sense smudged traces of minimal mania a la 100 Flowers. We catch whiffs of the emblematic hardcore of the Germs & T.S.O.L., feel the plod ‘n’ thud of Negative Trend. We’re treated to bits of hijacked shortwave, aural static clinging ‘tween songs proper, bleeding into the tunes themselves. And we hear a walloping wayward punk rec that nods knowingly toward L.A.-circa-’82, but in melding its influences, somehow sounds distinctly Atlanta, and right now.