Punching the Clock . . . Into a Bloody Pulp
I recently found a used copy of KingoftheHill's 1991 self-titled debut (yes, apparently the band's name is written as one continuous word). The St. Louis quartet -- led by blonde frontman Frankie Muriel -- was signed to SBK Records, the label home of Vanilla Ice, Selena and others.
"I Do U," one of the disc's singles, has a funky, horn-drenched sound that earned Muriel & Co. a reputation as a poor man's Extreme. Meanwhile, another single called "If I Say" is an acoustic-based ballad that's similar to likeminded material from Poison or Firehouse.
I find it difficult to recommend this album; it's a bit too faceless and anonymous with little to distinguish it. In fact, one of the most remarkable things about the platter is a shameless marketing ploy used in the liner notes. "If I Say" is listed as being three minutes and 72 seconds long. I mean, come on, as if a radio or video programmer isn't going to notice the blatant attempt to come in around the three minute mark -- even though the real length is four minutes and 13 seconds! Likewise, "Place in My Heart" checks in at three minutes and 85 seconds in the track listing. That's four minutes and 27 seconds for those of you who don't speak metric.
I guess you can't fault a band for trying anything to get their songs played, but I've never seen this particular ploy before. Do a radio edit, for crying out loud! Putting out mediocre hair metal is one thing. But to add insult to injury by also violating standard rules of time calculation is just unacceptable.
(Editor's note: Incidentally, "Place in My Heart" is in a similar vein to "If I Say" and is the best tune on the album, in my estimation)