Almost Kings: Dirty South Rap Rock

The best way to describe Almost Kings is with the clich├ęd “they are not like anything you’ve ever experienced before.” Only in this case, it’s true. There is no way to fully convey what listening to Almost Kings–or seeing one of their performances–is like.

I was first introduced to the band in July 2012, when a friend urged me to come to a show in Florence, Alabama. I was told that they were rap/rock and was given comparisons to everyone from Linkin Park to Hollywood Undead. Honestly, it left me with no idea of what to expect…and not a lot of hope for what I was about to witness. But I soon discovered that my friend had not done Almost Kings justice. At all.

The show was amazing! Vocalist Bryan Bozeman, guitarist Ryan Yunker, bassist Daniel Helms, and drummer Kevin Compton went non-stop. There was never a dull moment, and the guys didn’t slow down until it was over. They were energetic and interactive, and they gave 100% to every aspect of their performance. I have since found out that this is true at every show. (And it doesn’t hurt that they are four of the nicest guys you will ever meet.)

While the live shows are nothing short of spectacular, they wouldn’t be what they are if the music itself wasn’t up to par. I asked the band to describe their music in a single word, and Kevin said “diverse,” which summed it up pretty accurately. I have defined them as rap/rock, but they actually span multiple genres. There are so many things about each album, each track, that are appealing, and my interest was held by the fact that no two tracks sounded exactly the same. The only problem with that is it makes it extremely difficult to recommend just one song to a person unfamiliar with the band. It all depends on tastes. Want rap? Listen to “Bounce.” Want rock? Check out “Hold On Me” or “Shadows.” Want something with a touch of funk? Crank up “Lose Control.” Want something fun with a catchy chorus? “Cheers,” “On Like That,” or “Unstoppable” should fit the bill nicely.

I have to acknowledge that the first thing that caught my attention was the skill of Bozeman. His rapping is just mind-blowing, and he integrates it in with a full band so seamlessly. I can’t think of anyone else who combines rap and rock as well as Almost Kings.

While Bozeman’s vocals are the most easily discerned part of their sound, when one gets down to it, there is a depth to the music. Almost Kings is one of the few bands that has earned what is perhaps the biggest compliment I can pay a band: they are multi-faceted. They are not stuck emphasizing one member over and over again, because all four of them are very talented. This makes it possible for them to highlight a different element in each song.

Putting it simply, Almost Kings is the most fun you will ever have listening to music, and one of the most entertaining live shows you will ever witness. Easily enjoyed by anyone, but with the talent to satisfy fellow musicians and music connoisseurs alike, this is a band that should definitely have a place in your music library. Do yourself a favor and check them out. Now!

Suggested Tracks: “Bounce,” “On Like That,” “Unstoppable,” “Cheers,” “Hold On Me,” and “Lose Control”.

Latest reviews