Sun King Rising is a band with its roots in Pennsylvania, USA. On October 30th 2020, they released a double single titled “Free Will in China Blue”. We took a listen to the titular track and here’s what we thought!
The track begins with some decent piano playing before the horn section builds up and kicks off to get us started. From there, we’re treated with a groove. Once the vocalist gets started we can only really describe the performance here as an almost Ian Gillan (Deep Purple) style. Lyrically, they hold up alright – there’s a minor bit of a preachiness within them but nothing too overbearing. They tend to hold well within the melody, occasionally sounds as though they are pushed in but not too overtly.
With the other elements, one of the most present in the mix you may notice is the kick. In this mix it is very “meaty” in the tone which isn’t necessarily an issue – but it’s not exactly a selling point either. The rest of the kit sounds pretty good otherwise, panned nicely to give each part of it some semblance of space. On that point, there is actually plenty of space in the mix. Some of it is coloured by the reverb and, ever so slightly, the delay. The bass is slightly lost in the mix to parts of the drums but you can hear it if you listen carefully for it – locked in with the kit for sure. No guitar in this, at least none we could pick up but the piano is covering that part of the frequency. The backing vocals are a very nice touch.
Overall, a decent track. The groove is probably the highlight of the track for us, the horns really sell that quite well. It is mixed and mastered to a fairly decent standard, it’s not exactly huge sounding as a track but certainly a big sound. You’d kind of expect this from a track with a reasonably sized horn section, especially what these folks were trying to achieve.