Review: Marcus King smolders on ‘Young Blood’

August 27, 2022 GMT

Marcus King, “Young Blood” (American Records/Republic)

Fiery fretboard master Marcus King is out with his new album “Young Blood,” with his guitar skills on full display — but diverging some from his blues-heavy themes of the past.

King goes into high gear immediately on this, scorching his way through the opening tracks including “Lie, Lie, Lie,” on which he bends and shreds his strings into submission.

“Pain” is another standout effort. “I used to be a diamond/ Now I’m just a rolled up dollar bill,” King sings in his trademark throaty voice. The guitar solo is a bit more blues-infused, with a massive amount of overdrive effect and speed.

King has been public about his bouts of depression and says this work is what has been going on inside of him. The lyrics here are deeply personal to King and his emotions.

If there’s a weak spot on “Young Blood,” it’s that the vocals are tracked much cleaner and quieter than the raucous instrumentals. With King’s abilities on all fronts, this feels like a bit of a disservice to the energy of the artist.

Still, Marcus King on “Young Blood” serves notice that high-powered blues rock is in good hands.


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