Southern California is a hot bed of reggae activity and No Kings out of Ocean Beach, San Diego is one exceptional group in the mix. The four-member band was formed in 2011, when Joel Brust and Garrison Cyr of Subliminal Trip teamed up with a new lead singer Matt Cook and drummer Rafa Scatolin to do what they love: manufacturing raw ska/reggae/rock for SoCal citizens to smoke and surf to.
No Kings recognizes their neighborhood as one of the best in San Diego
The debut LP Low Lifes and High Rollers follows two EP releases for No Kings, and definitively escalates their sound to a whole new level. Every track is pumped with not only multiple skanking pit start-up opportunities, but also large amounts of Southern California pride – one song is even entitled “Locals Only”! No Kings recognizes their neighborhood as one of the best in San Diego: Ocean Beach, where the weed is prevalent, the waves are high and the people are pleasant. Why would you ever want to leave? As for “Locals Only”, the song is mostly instrumental of the acid-surfer variety that you don’t hear too often. With random voiceovers thrown in and a high amount of reverb, it’s as if the first most revered Southern California surfer rock legends, The Beach Boys, got together to smoke a bongload with their evolved stoner rock successors, Sublime, only to head to the ocean, wax waves all day and hit the burrito shop with a beer at night – repeat. But that’s the lifestyle of San Diego: no fear, no worries, no consequences, No Kings.
The album is now available on all digital outlets and No Kings plans on expanding their tour circuit in 2016. It’s uncertain at this point as to where they will head over the next year, but with this amount of expounding talent for a small beach town, it’s clear that No Kings’ reputation will grow exponentially in due time.
Preview and download Low Lifes and High Rollers on
- Elephant Dub
- Low Life & High Rollers
- Ghosts and Names
- Locals Only
- Up to No Good
- Wake Up Slow
- One With It All
- Evil Dub
No Kings “Lowlifes & High Rollers”
Released October 3, 2015 • No Kings
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.