Hoods, the reigning kings of Sacramento hardcore, have endured a lot throughout their decade of existence. The band have released a slew of recordings in all forms - LP's, EP's, splits, and compilations - on a handful of labels. Such an unwillingness to give up is rare for a band, especially in the genre of hardcore. And yet, here they are again with yet another album on yet another label.
The King is Dead sets things off with the titular track, which is gem of metallic hardcore with one of hell of a breakdown/sing-along: "I'm sorry that I hate you, I tried and tried again / Every time we take you back you fuck us once again / The king is fucking dead, he lays there in street / no one left to fuck, you're dead you fucking thief." The lyrics read like a hate-letter; whoever it is directed at, you can be glad you're not him.
Hoods follow it up with a solid mix of fast-paced cuts - "Lost Hope" and "This Time - and slower-but-brutal tracks - "Heartless" and "End of Days." These tracks contain varying combinations of hardcore, punk, and metal. Later on "Coward," the band reprises the breakdown from "I Own You" from their previous LP, Pray for Death. While it may not be the most original move, the breakdown is hella tough.
The shining moment of The King is Dead is the track "Ernie Cortez," which bears witness to the life of the fallen hardcore vet that co-founded the highly influential Powerhouse, a band that put Bay Area hardcore on the map. See, not all hardcore is about violence.
The King is Dead wraps up in just under twenty minutes. The abruptness of this release is perhaps its saving grace. Any longer and I feel that the songs would have begun to blur together and end up ruining the listening experience. I look forward to ten more years of music from Hoods.