King Ropes released their debut album Dirt last year, and the album was written and recorded in different cities in a creative process that brings back memories of Foo Fighters’ 2014 album Sonic Highways.
Frontman Dave Hollier traveled back and forth across the United States before landing him in his home state
of Montana. The album began in Hollier’s long-time home of Brooklyn, where he began cutting tracks with drummer Konrad Meissner (Katy Perry, Matt Nathanson). Hollier took the project with him during a brief stint in Los Angeles, where he continued recording with some West Coast based players, before eventually returning to Bozeman, Montana.
The recording process definitely gives the album a sense of diversity, with one of the album’s standout tracks being “Shovel and a Pickaxe,” which recently received a music video release. The gritty track’s music sounds reminiscent of Alice In Chains’ more southern leaning tracks like “Queen of the Rodeo” and “Heaven Beside You,” and also a bit like a modern take on Neil Young and Wilco with synthetizer elements that make the song sound incredibly fresh. The bass work is fantastic on the song, almost serving as a rhythm guitar like Robert DeLeo and Eric Avery’s bass lines do on Stone Temple Pilots and Jane’s Addiction’s best tracks.
Hollier’s vocals sound a bit like Black Francis’ more melodic work in the Pixies. Lyrically, the song has the feeling of trying to do outdoor work like digging to try to escape from mental anguish, but there really being no escape. There is also a story of a relationship that feels like it could end at anytime: ‘If you ask me to leave I might walk away with you.’