After much bubbling anticipation, KingZiLLa and Blake are back with their new album "THE PROGRAM," bringing a collective army of songs to cut through the noise and open your eyes into the world that we didn't necessarily realize we were living in until 2020's endless slew of events.
"THE PROGRAM" begins with a deeply haunting intro, a powerful spoken word over a chilling production that elicits an uneasy yet intrigued feeling from the listener. The words are that of truth, referring to the albums namesake "THE PROGRAM," something we are all attached to and held down by in one way or another. Touching on subjects that we’ve all endured the past year or so, KingZiLLa doesn’t hold back on just what’s going on.
The title track itself, "THE PROGRAM" takes us through the wormhole on an electronic beat that begins the record on an empowering and bad-ass note. KingZiLLa plays on the notion of being a program, saying he’s a different kind and giving away the number sequence he’s known as other than a name. The song itself is heavy on the low end in a great way, setting a tone for the mood of the rest of the tracks to come as we move along to the beat.
"SO FAR AWAY" was one of our favorite pre-released singles from KingZiLLa and Blake, taking on a slightly different sound than other tracks we’d heard from the pair, yet remaining consistent in DUB-FUNK. The instrumental begins dark and heavy, floating into an ethereal kind of vibe sonically as we get lost in a new galaxy. The melody is reminiscent of a different land and time, making us lose ourselves in the beauty that is the track. "SO FAR AWAY" is an ode to depression that can be related to by everyone in the past year, but picks up the optimism toward the end, showing that things can change if we only believe they can.
"CLOAK & DAGGER" immediately piques our interest after the notorious Hollywood club, but we quickly see just how different it is. The song shoots us right out of the cannon, a fast paced industrial beat with the signature funk laced through the production drives the song in a way that catches you and pulls you in. Blake’s smooth and clever rap flow doesn’t skip a beat as he takes us into the story of the track. We would put him right up there with Busta Rhymes as we can hear every turn of phrase eloquently. The chorus is melodically robotic, sticking in our heads. The message is deep and profound, telling of predictions and warnings that society should’ve taken heed from.
"TURN THIS MUZZSUCKER OUT" is a Norman Bates inspired track, a wonderful follow up to "CLOAK & DAGGER" that turns the mood from grave to uplifted. While the message is still clear, and the track fits perfectly with the others, it’s a nice groovy turn to metaphorically cleanse the palate. The production is a perfect marriage of dance and electronic that meets the DUB-FUNK sound in a harmonious fashion. We can’t help but want to move to Blake & KingZiLLa’s fifth track!
"SILHOUETTE" is a one of the most interesting takes on a love song we've heard in a while. It keeps the funky groove, taking us back to a nostalgic era when music and life were of what seemed to be a different planet in comparison to now. The production is slower, the lyrics sung in English and briefly Spanish, making you want to listen deeper. "SILHOUETTE" paints imagery that we can appreciate. Most love songs seem to be run of the mill, but true to KingZiLLa’s creative fashion, it’s told in a new and unique way as he wonders if the silhouette he loves and wants to get to know is real, or an imaginary figure.
When it comes to "HYPE!" we find ourselves back on the mothership, an electronic beat pulsing through our veins as an industrial feeling overcomes us. KingZiLLa and Blake powerfully vocalize onto the track, and we’re back to the message that we pick up on so clearly. The people have been awakened, the issues in the world are prevalent and finally coming to light, and there’s no denying that the duo are here to help spread the word.
"EXODUS" is an ode to freedom, possibly breaking free of “THE PROGRAM” as we hear of just that, an exodus. The smooth production of the track, much like the others, wraps around our minds, bringing us into the atmosphere that KingZiLLa and Blake have so effortlessly created. The bass is front and center in this one, an otherworldly feeling encompassing the verses as we hear a melody line that slides into a new feeling, shifting the beat into what almost seems to run along with the artists as they escape the world they know.
"12 MONTHS OF OCTOBER" begins on a short blip of acoustic guitar that quickly becomes accompanied with their signature funk. The meshing of the whole sound is sonically pleasing, and when the horns drift onto the track, we’re pleasantly surprised by what we hear. The song carries the same political view, but always in a light way that never feels too daunting to listen to or take on. The mood changes to a smooth R&B laced vibe, and we know thatKingZiLLa truly knows how to get the listener doing just that— Listening!
The final song on the exciting and high vibrational ride that is "THE PROGRAM" is "LIGHT TO LOVE," a spacey track that transports us to planet KingZiLLa once more as the production pans between both ears. The lyrics question if we’re ever going to get back to a place of peace right from the start, and it fits with the otherworldly encompassment the track exudes. The listener can almost feel the way the artists do as the instrumental transports them to a place of deep thought, the insightful lyrics enveloping them and pursuing the train of thought further. As a whole, the song is pretty- a darker, dub-funk that contains sonic elements that we would’ve never thought we’d hear together, but love the electronic, futurism of the idea as a whole. Toward the end, a guitar solo that puts us into a trance rings through the atmosphere, and we’re in love all over again. A great track to end the record on, and we think it may be our new favorite from KingZiLLa and Blake!
KingZiLLa has a creative and unique way of rehashing and putting the spotlight on 2020’s situations via music, and we’re loving every second of it. We wholeheartedly believe that music is therapeutic, and KingZiLLa & Blake have enlightened and enraptured us in the movement that is "THE PROGRAM."
We are more than looking forward to what they have for us next. In the meantime, we’ll be hitting repeat!
You can listen to "THE PROGRAM" on BandCamp now!