King Cyst King Of New York on LP
King of New York by King Cyst is a 42-minute odyssey about the limits of carnal adventure in New York City. Songs weave together circuitous paths, dead-ends and social impasses; the humanism of its heroes and heroines is strained by their undying libidos. Seductive in the same way a disproportionate painting might be, King of New York is candid series of portraits.
Luka Usmiani is the principal storyteller on King of New York. Usmiani, who adopted the moniker King Cyst for his madcap debut Real Pussy on Underwater Peoples in 2012, is a rueful vocalist with a baritone reminiscent of Kevin Ayers, and a guitar player of unlimited range. A love of the Canterbury greats has guided his by-now matured songwriting craft, and with good fortune Usmiani has assembled an outfit for King of New York skilled enough to play equal to that scene's high standard of musicianship.
Joining Usmiani on King of New York are Al Carlson (alto sax, baritone sax, flute), Alex Craig (bass), Dorian DeAngelo (organs, electric piano, piano), and Sam Franklin (drums, percussion, loops). Instrumental passages are deployed with the same sophistication and artful pleasure as Usmiani's deadpan narratives, with Carlson's horn melodies in particular carving out gleeful Gerry Rafferty-esque delights throughout.
Aside from King of New York's poeticizing of its perennial subjects - the hunt for love and the love of sex - it's also King Cyst's most spellbinding musical achievement so far. Recorded, mixed and mastered at Gary's Electric by Al Carlson, the record's nine tracks were cut live with very few overdubs so it retains the aleatory and spontaneous dynamics that set Usmiani's tune-smithing in its own class.
Much more than a "sophomore effort", King of New York shows King Cyst's second LP ranking at senior levels. In other words, its penmanship succeeds across all categories, achieving the high musical standards of yore in the New York of now!