Confident and Assured Debut From Londoners King Nun
A King Nun review without a mention of Dirty Hit would be like a Miles Kane review that didn’t mention Alex Turner. But while labelmates The 1975 are off saving the world with Greta Thunberg, and Pale Waves are bringing goth-pop to 14-year-olds across the country, King Nun are here for all of our indie-punk needs.
They aren’t the raw punk kids that we saw supporting the likes of Pale Waves and INHEAVEN. They’ve changed and evolved into something better, more weighty. There’s more than meets the eye with these guys, it’s impressive. On ‘Transformer’ the lyrics are enough to make any Gen Z-er say ‘big mood’, frontman Theo Polyzoides singing about “swimming in caffeine”. Altogether, the words throughout avoid the trite and cliched – the band succeed in conveying across the modern Brit ennui – it’s on point.
‘Cowboy’ is a bit Slaves-y in its intro, getting the quintessentially British punk vibe on point. It’s somewhat reminiscent of the King Nun of old, the band we saw cutting their teeth over the last couple of years. This is the kind of music we’ve been missing. INHEAVEN and Spring King are no more. Wolf Alice haven’t put anything out for two years. There’s a gap in the market for some high-quality, heavy indie and King Nun have more than filled it.
They’re anthemic – ‘Chinese Medicine’ is built for arenas – but they aren’t going to turn into The Killers any time soon. Nonetheless, they know how to make a killer tune that should be blasting out in indie discos up and down the country. ‘Intravenous’, in contrast, sounds a little like The 1975’s ‘People’, but with less of an industrial feel. That said, King Nun definitely put their own spin onto things despite being part of the Dirty Hit juggernaut.
Overall though, it’s a wholly enjoyable debut that it feels like we’ve been waiting an age for. And now it’s here, it doesn’t disappoint.
‘I’m a music and culture journalist currently based in the West Midlands. Always on the lookout for up-and-coming artists but my favourite bands include IDLES and Arctic Monkeys. Probably last seen at a gig.