Our take: Remain Intact is the 3rd full-length from this Atlanta band. Here’s the quick rundown on GG King: while he’s played in projects going back to the 90s, I came to know Atlanta’s Greg King as the singer for Carbonas, for my money one of the best punk bands ever to come out of the American south. In Carbonas, Greg honed his pop chops to a razor sharp edge (though not without punk intensity… I remember when Carbonas’ second LP came out everyone was talking about how much it sounded like Zero Boys), but when Carbonas dissolved in the late 00s and Greg started GG King, the sound was a little different. (Well, at least after the first few GG King singles, which someone once told me were largely songs written for Carbonas). One big change was a prominent black metal influence, which is not something one thinks of as a natural fit with the upbeat, song-oriented punk that also informed GG King’s sound. Even beyond that jarring stylistic juxtaposition, GG King felt looser and artier, wide-open to lots of different styles, and every few years they would weave a bunch of these threads into an eclectic tapestry of an album. Which brings us to Remain Intact, which strikes me as GG King’s masterpiece. I love—LOVE!—GG King’s first two albums and the singles, but Remain Intact one-ups them. The melodic songs like “Remain Intact” and “Melt on You” are among the band’s best songs, while the other songs—everything from the 00s-era-Fall-ish “Dekalb County Endless” to the brooding “Cul de Sac” to whatever the fuck “Golden Horde Rising” is (Norwegian black metal meets early Magazine?)—make the album feel epic in scope and are often great art-punk songs in their own right. It’s rare that a current band releases something that feels as ambitious and as important as albums like Wire’s Chairs Missing or Guided by Voices’ Bee Thousand, but that’s the vibe I get from Remain Intact.
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