Relic Kings’ “Blinded by the Sun” (single)


Stinging, vibrant, and occasionally more expressive than the words they surround are, the guitar parts in Relic Kings’ “Blinded by the Sun” are the central cohesive element in this all-new moderate rock jam from the insurgent Canadian power trio. In these lush strings, we find the essence of the lyrical narrative dispensed in elegant melodic fretwork, and though the drums present us with just as much texture, nothing is quite as affective as the righteous riffing is. “Blinded by the Sun,” the title track of Relic Kings’ debut album, is definitely an interesting sampler of what this band is capable of producing, yet it’s just a bit experimental for what I would expect out of a rookie single.

The vocal track has the cleanest, most efficient mix of any element in the song, and I like the way that it’s arranged against the backdrop of the band’s striking string harmonies rather than enmeshed in all of the instrumental chaos. It makes it a lot easier to appreciate the grandiosity of the individual components, and better yet, it provides us a good idea of Relic Kings’ songwriting limitations in general. They’ve got an excellent flow to their execution, and despite a couple of rough edges, their chemistry as a group is really strong.

There’s a little bit of unevenness to the rhythm of “Blinded by the Sun,” but that said, it still features a really catchy beat that is far more inviting than it is overcomplicated. The chorus is a slam dunk from beginning to end, and considering the tension that it eliminates with its swing, it makes the weaker areas in the track completely forgivable, if not wholly dismissible. The lyric video for this single is a tad predictable and uninvolved for my taste, but make no mistake about it – the substance of its source material is five star-quality.

Relic Kings have a long ways yet to go, but there’s a lot of potential in “Blinded by the Sun” and the album that it shares its title with, to such an extent where I would recommend both to curious rock fans this summer. The few negative issues that this three-piece is dealing with aren’t nearly as impactful as their positive attributes as a band, which have a fluidity that is enough to keep me tuned into their camp’s output moving forward. They’ve certainly been garnering a lot of buzz lately, and after listening to “Blinded by the Sun,” it’s more than clear as to why.


Jamie Morse