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Strum Sum Up

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Album Review

On the second album to be credited solely to King's X singer/bassist Doug Pinnick (or as he's listed on the cover, "Dug"), 2007's Strum Sum Up, you get a collection of heavy yet soulful ditties that — perhaps rather unsurprisingly — sound very reminiscent of his full-time band. This can be pinpointed to the heavy/detuned guitar riffs and multi-voiced choruses — two factors that have proven major ingredients in the King's X sound for ages by this point. Some rockers launch solo careers to display tunes that don't fit in the frameworks of their full-time gigs, but here it's probably just having too many songs to choose from for the next King's X release (or songs that were left over from the last one). Longtime King's X fans will attest that isn't necessarily a bad thing, as evidenced by such tracks as "Perfect World," "Damn It," and "Angel." Years from now, don't be surprised if fans consider Strum Sum Up a lost King's X record.

Customer Reviews

It all adds up

All the elements of King's X lead singer Dug Pinnick's solo album add up. The hard rock tempos, the gospel vocals, the catchy bass riffs, great lyrics and the high-quality production all add up for an album I will listen to over and over again for years to come. I lost interest in King's X after "Please Come Home Mr. Bulbous" because frankly it felt like they were phoning it in while the band struggled to find a new sound. But Dug's energy on this album is genuine and catching. Dug is enjoying making music and it shows. I think it's his best work since "Dogman." The quality of every single track is obvious and I enjoy how some tracks are split in two (at least on the iTunes version) because the tone does change halfway through the songs. Perfect World, Life Is What You Make It, Smile and Cross It all have great, catchy bass lines and lyrics that are easy to sing along with. They also have a driving, clean rock sound -- no airy Ty Tabor guitar solos here. This is raw energy, a happy, devil-may-care outpouring of Dug's soul with a hard edge. The only track I don't care for is "Coming Over" but only because it goes on too long and I don't enjoy Dug's "philosophizing" on the nature of funk. But hey, 13 out of 14 tracks is pretty good. Anyone who likes King's X from the Untitled/Dogman era will like this, but the album will also be accessible to almost all rock fans.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Doug Pinnick is known first and foremost as the soulful singer and bassist for hard rockers King's X. Born September 3, 1950, in Joliet, IL, Pinnick discovered rock & roll through such greats as Sly and the Family Stone, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin, while he borrowed from gospel for his singing style. When a gig backing up Christian guitarist Phil Keaggy broke up in the early '80s, Pinnick formed a new band with fellow ex-Keaggy member Jerry Gaskill (drums) and guitarist Ty Tabor. It would...
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Strum Sum Up, dUg Pinnick
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