Kings Go Forth is a soulful disco-funk 10-piece band from Milwaukee and they took on the whole retro-soul thing the right way. The group was founded by Andy Noble, the founder of the now sadly defunct record store Lotus Land, in 2007. As he explained in his Wax Poetics interview, he sees soul as a genre fundamentally based on arrangements and he was interested in writing songs that created a structure where every instrument could shine. He achieved his goal assembling a solid group of sessioned soul musicians to form the band but the spark that launched Kings Go Forth was the involvement of lead singer Black Wolf. He brought the raw vocals and co-wrote some songs allowing for a full lenght LP to come to fruition.
The Outsiders are Back is full of heavy funk, disco and soul and stands out from other soul revival efforts because of the strength of the arrangements and autheticity of the vocals. Noble went out of his way to use legendary disco-era sound engineers and vintage equipment and the snappiness of the drumming which carries most songs shines through tremendously because of those efforts. The opening track One Day (which has already become a saught after 45) is an explosive soul song which immediately grabs you. The frenetic rythm is impossible to resist and the soaring vocals just carry this song and the dancefloor to another statosphere. Kings Go Forth have made ”Move on Up” for the 21st century; what a way to open an album and define your sound! Much like Curtis’ song, the lyrics are uplifting and the blaring horns perfectly punctuate the rest of the stellar arrangements. It’s hard to pull off this type of impeccable combination and I can’t wait for more things to come from this awesome ensemble.
An interesting sidenote to this LP is the artwork created by Mingering Mike. A mind-blowing artist that was discovered by a record digger; a truly incredible story. He was finally able to release a ”real” record and share some of his forgotten and imagined treasures with the world.