Playlist: King Nun’s Grunge Hidden Gems

King Nun

London-based quintet King Nun will be looking to leave a mark with the release of their latest album – ‘LAMB’. Formed ten years ago while at school together, the quintet of Theo Polyzoides (vocals/guitar), James Upton (guitar), Nathan Gane (bass), Caius Stockley-Young (drums and producer), and Ethan Stockley-Young (bass VI and percussion), believe this new collection of songs is their “greatest achievement”. It is a statement that is hard to argue with as ‘LAMB’ showcases a host of vibrant, hook-laden tracks, serving up a melting pot of grunge, indie, and punk rock over the course of its 11 tracks.

From the opening stomp of ‘Golden Age’ and Polyzoides’ inner monologue of to “get it right this time”, to ‘OCD”s off-kilter guitar melody, wrapped in paranoid self-conscious lyricism. While the album’s lead single, ‘Selfish’ captures King Nun at their most bombastic, creating a melodic wall of sound. Other highlights such as ‘Do You Know Where You Are?’ and ‘But We Live On The Beach’ exemplify the swagger and melodic poise King Nun has carved out during tours along Foo Fighters, Black Flag and Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes. That’s not to say there is any grit underneath their collective fingernails. Later album track, ‘Escapism’, is a spiky and rapturous grunge-punk jam, before ‘LAMB’s titular track highlights the introspective and optimistic narrative that threads the album together.

With a sound rooted in grunge, we thought it’d be a good idea to quiz the members of King Nun on what they think are the “hidden gems” in the grunge world. There’s no ‘Smells Like Teenage Spirit here.

Mudhoney – Touch Me I’m Sick

Nathan Gane (bass): This is a great song; outstanding vocals, distorted guitars, a proper chorus, and overall ruthless. Music for guitar players but in a good way.

Polvo – Thermal Treasure

Theo Polyzoides (vocals/guitars): This has cool dissonant harmony stuff going on with the guitars. Organised metal machine music. 

That Dog – Minneapolis

Theo: It has really, really strong melodies and has that sort of soundtrack quality that all great songs have. It doesn’t try too hard and I love that.

Kyuss – Green Machine

Nathan: This isn’t particularly niche, but heavy as fuck. Great song. Raw energy.

Deus – Jigsaw You

Nathan: It’s angular and weird, heavy but soft, and certainly has its own atmosphere. Feels distinctly European to me, which I think is unique as the majority of grunge was coming from the US and sounded so. Sometimes you want a great sing-along, sometimes you want something weird – and this is definitely a bit weird.

The Smashing Pumpkins – Rhinoceros

Ethan Stockley-Young (bass VI/percussion):  This is simply a great song, with a good blend of a lot of genres.

Sugar – A Good Idea

James Upton (guitar): Bob Mould post-Hüsker Dü. This came out after Pixies’ first two albums but in the prime of grunge and is a really cool bridge between the two.

Superheaven – Life In A Jar

James: I just love that riff! It sounds like an angry wasp.

‘LAMB’ by King Nun is released on 29th September 2023, on Marshall Records. Pre-order here.

Find King Nun on Facebook, Instagram, X, and TikTok.


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