These are weird and wooly times for indie musicians. The record-label industry that was hip checked by alternative rock in the early ‘90s, then flipped by file sharing, has been either expanded or reduced to a-still inscrutable streaming-based existence. Bands that hit platinum plays on Spotify celebrate their million-stream payout with a whopping $300. Musings aside, this wobbly egalitarianism allows bands to release original music without the kind of promotional concerns and gimmicks that hindered bands just thirty years ago.
The new full-length from St. Augustine band King Peach offers up some quality homegrown indie-guitar rock. It’s also a good example of the benefit of the Spotify era: being hipped to a band via word of mouth (which was the case with the Jacksonville Music Experience in being nudged to check out King Peach) and then the instant access to hear that same band.
Released in June, Found Dead is a 10-song collection that is impressively concise and on point. The track “Let Us Not” is a paean to the folly of self-pity grinding its face into some kind of insight. The opening hook and chorus are tasty in their amp-crunch, boasting an offhand guitar wallop straight from the J. Mascis/Doug Martsch playbook. It’s a reluctant anthem with interesting compositional curveballs; including a blink-and-you-will-miss-it HC-punk style breakdown that takes a left turn into a bridge culminating in a strangely metal guitar solo.
King Peach vocalist-guitarist Jordon Henley sings the verses on “Let Us Not” and many of the tracks on Found Dead in a surfer-meets-soul style that ultimately does a disservice to his greater strengths in delivering emotional rock roar. But make no mistake: the lead-in swerving guitar riff of “Let Us Not” is more Neil Young than Nelly.
The members of King Peach are among the first wave of musicians who can’t conceive of a pre-internet music world. Tastes aside, it makes sense that their influences have been beaming at them in a 360º pattern thanks to the internet’s ongoing babble. Considering the surprise viral success that fellow locals like Flipturn have garnered, King Peach are worthy contenders for a similar break-out and are maintain a local presence through regular gigging at clubs like Sarbez! and Shanghai Nobby’s. Henley and the band’s songwriting approach (unique chromaticism, unconventional chord choices, etc.) are the kind of quirks that could raise them from the streaming herd.
You can hear new music from King Peach, and music from other local, regional, national and international artists on our music discovery station The Independent 89.9 HD4. And you can follow our Fresh Squeeze playlist on Spotify to stream all the best new music, updated every month.