King Louie’s Missing Monuments: Painted White

Music Reviews
King Louie’s Missing Monuments: Painted White

When you’ve got a resume like Louie Bankston’s, the gun of expectations is loaded and pointed at your skull before you even play a note, just daring you to try a game of Russian Roulette. King Louie, as he likes to call himself, co-wrote songs and played organ for not-long-for-this-world power poppers, the Exploding Hearts. He’s also moonlighted in about a dozen other bands during the past 20 years, and has shared the stage with the likes of the Reigning Sound, ex-Nerve Paul Collins and many more.

Given all this, one might expect a masterpiece from his latest artistic outing. Or, perhaps more realistically, one might expect something decidedly less perfect, given his prolific nature and the fact that, well, there just aren’t that many masterpieces out there. Unsurprising, the latter is the case, though there’s certainly plenty to enjoy across Painted White. Opener “The Girl of the Nite” is cheesy-smooth in its catchiness, but Bankston luckily loosens up throughout much of the album, undoing the belt tightened around his gruff singing voice and letting the hooks speak for themselves on highlights like the anthemic ”(It’s Like) XTC,” the adrenalized “Black Rainbow” and wordy power ballad “Nite Fall.”

The nice thing about expectations is that as easily as they’re dashed, it only sets the bar lower for next time. And the nice thing about a guy like King Louie Bankston is that he’s likely already working on his next record. Judging by past experience, it’ll likely come under a different band name and offer an new perspective from a guy who’s clearly a rock ‘n’ roll lifer with no hope for redemption. This is a good thing.

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