Vibrate You

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Vibrate You
Studio album by King Adora
Released May 21, 2001 (2001-05-21)
Recorded November - December 2000 at Sawmills Studios (Golant, Cornwall)
Genre Punk rock, hard rock, glam rock
Length 36:26
Label Superior Quality Recordings
Producer John Cornfield
King Adora chronology
Vibrate You
(2001)
Who Do You Love?
(2004)
Singles from Vibrate You
  1. "Big Isn't Beautiful"
    Released: July 31, 2000 (2000-07-31)
  2. "Smoulder"
    Released: October 23, 2000 (2000-10-23)
  3. "Suffocate"
    Released: February 19, 2001 (2001-02-19)
  4. "Bionic"
    Released: May 14, 2001 (2001-05-14)

Vibrate You is the debut studio album by King Adora. It was released on 21 May 2001[1] on Superior Quality Recordings and reached number 30 on the UK Albums Chart.[2] Produced by John Cornfield at Sawmills Studios in Cornwall, the album received mixed to negative reviews from critics upon its release.

Background[edit]

Writing and recording[edit]

Writing for the album began when Matt Browne and Martyn Nelson formed King Adora in Birmingham, England in 1998. The first song the pair wrote was Friday Night Explodes, which explored their experiences of working all week and getting "trashed" every Friday night.[3] After signing to Superior Quality Recordings in 2000, the band released the Bionic/The Law, Big Isn't Beautiful and Smoulder singles, playing the singles and other newly written songs at their live shows. An attempt at recording the album was halted at the request of Superior Quality Recordings due to the band's drunkenness, resulting in the decision to send the band to the secluded Sawmills Studios in Cornwall in late 2000.[3] John Cornfield was chosen to produce and mix the record.[4] The surroundings at Sawmills proved to be a welcome change of pace for the band, finding inspiration from images on the walls of the studio's previous clients (The Stone Roses, Muse, The Verve) and putting on a Christmas party, which was featured in Melody Maker.[3]

According to Browne, the album took "six or seven weeks" to record.[5] The band arrived at the studio with the majority of the songs already written and arranged.[3] Ten songs recorded in the sessions are present on the album, with previous singles Bionic, The Law and Big Isn't Beautiful (originally recorded and produced by Chris Sheldon) being re-recorded, to add "a little bit more balls".[6] Smoulder was unchanged from its single version, which had been produced and mixed by John Cornfield. Cornfield recalled that the band were "pretty good at getting themselves vibed up, into it and going for it" and that he tried to push them into more of an "angry rock" direction, away from their glam roots.[3] An "Elvis impression" was included on We Are Heroes, allegedly without the band knowing.[5] The Mevo Gissey Choir was used on Music Takes You, with the band stating "we were going to get a big gospel choir in and try some other things, but we said we wanted something really powerful and deep".[5] Bassist Robbie Grimmit commented that the song was "our rock epic".[7] Future single Suffocate was written during the sessions and dealt with the death of Browne's girlfriend.[3] Dabrowski revealed the band "tried" to record cover versions at the sessions.[8] Two previously released b-sides were included on an enhanced version of the album as bonus tracks.[4] The enhanced version also included an EPK (featuring home video footage) and music videos for Big Isn't Beautiful, Smoulder, Suffocate and Bionic.[4] The album was mastered by Kevin Metcalfe at The Soundmasters, London.

Musical style and influences[edit]

The band's style on the album is rooted in glam rock, punk rock and hard rock. The band members credited Pavement, Sonic Youth, Pixies as the bands that made them want to be musicians, also stating "we had a fascination with the New York scene in the 70s going all the way up to the grunge scene".[5] The band pointed out that their sound was a combination of their four personalties, saying "when we used to rehearse, it was whatever comes naturally on stage, just do it. If we ever wrote a song that was three and a half minutes, we'd rehearse it twice and think 'this is so boring and long'. So we'd get rid of choruses and just make it more immediate".[5] The music press noted elements of Guns N' Roses, Mötley Crüe, Alice Cooper, T-Rex, David Bowie, Blondie and early Manic Street Preachers in the band's music.[9] The band also added "futuristic electro-elements" to their sound.[10] Drum machines were present on the album, featuring on Aftertime, The Law, We Are Heroes, Music Takes You and Suffocate. Synthesisers featured on Friday Night Explodes and We Are Heroes, while a police siren sample was utilised on The Law.

Title and themes[edit]

The album title Vibrate You is taken from the lyrics of the opening track, Smoulder. Themes present on the album include sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll, relationships, self-obsession, sleaze and anorexia. Browne stated that Big Isn't Beautiful "was from the point of view from an anorexic male. It's quite honest, but because it's controversial, people get a bit angry about it".[11] The band described Friday Night Explodes as being "a speed and alcohol fuelled celebration of excess, placing drugs on their rightful pedestal. A sort of pre-band autobiography".[12] Bionic, Aftertime, We Are Heroes and Music Takes You celebrated the bond between the band members and their fans.[12] Many of the songs dealt with various forms of sex, including The Law ("sex with a policewoman"), Supermuffdiver (oral sex) and Asthmatic (auto-erotic asphyxiation).[12] Whether is "anti-machismo", "anti-lad culture" and "about feeling comfortable in expressing yourself".[12] Smoulder and Suffocate explored relationships filled with despair, fear and desire.[12]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[13]
Drowned in Sound 4/10 stars[14]
New Musical Express 6/10 stars[15]
The Guardian 2/5 stars[16]

The album received mixed reviews, the Southern Reporter commenting "how can you quibble at a band who expend more energy in 40 minutes than Pink Floyd did in a career? What's more it's not wasted effort".[17] The NME's review was mixed, Steven Wells stating that "to send King Adora over the top with a record like this would be tantamount to murder".[18] Drowned In Sound were less positive, rating the album 4/10.[19] Allmusic gave the album 2.5/5, saying the band were "in danger of riding off into the sunset as the neo-glam indie equivalent of the Rutles".[1] The Guardian were negative, stating "the Adora (who named themselves after a vibrator) are too tentative to carry off either the look or the sound".[20]

Legacy[edit]

Matt Browne would look back on the album with disdain in the years following its release, saying "I probably would have used different recording techniques, possibly included a couple of different songs, some songs I didn’t feel were that strong and the artwork I absolutely loathed".[21] He also went on to say that "songs like Whether and Aftertime could have been brought out better. They’re both good songs, but I feel they could have been made a lot heavier. I don’t feel (John Cornfield) who produced it really got to grips with those songs".[21]

Tour[edit]

Martyn Nelson performing at the Electric Ballroom in London on 13 December 2001.

King Adora began their tour supporting Vibrate You in late January 2001 and wrapped up in mid-December. The biggest headlining show of the tour came on May 19, when demand forced the band's London gig to be moved from the Mean Fiddler to the Astoria.[22] Setlists for the tour consisted of material from Vibrate You, with b-sides also receiving airplay, including Scream And Shout, Don't Trust The Ones You Love, Freak, Aceface and White Noise Babies. Music Takes You was the only song from the album not played on the tour. New songs were premiered later in the tour (including Born To Lose, Love So Volatile, Asleep and Come) and would see release on the band's second album Who Do You Love? in 2004. Other new songs played on the tour, but never officially released, included The Chase and Tokyo Honey.

Date City Country Venue
United Kingdom Leg #1
January 27, 2001 Glasgow United Kingdom King Tut's Wah Wah Hut
January 28, 2001 Aberdeen Glow 303
January 29, 2001 Edinburgh Venue
January 30, 2001 Manchester Roadhouse
NME Brat Awards
February 1, 2001 London United Kingdom Astoria
United Kingdom Leg #2
February 2, 2001 Liverpool United Kingdom Lomax
February 3, 2001 Sheffield Leadmill
February 4, 2001 Hull Adelphi
February 6, 2001 Stoke-on-Trent Sugarmill
February 7, 2001 Northampton Roadmender
February 8, 2001 Leicester Charlotte
February 10, 2001 Exeter Cavern
February 11, 2001 Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
February 12, 2001 Norwich Arts Centre
February 13, 2001 Birmingham Academy 2
February 15, 2001 London Dingwalls
February 16, 2001 Coventry Colosseum
February 17, 2001 Leeds Rocket
March 12, 2001 London Sound Republic
April 8, 2001 York Fibbers
April 11, 2001 Bedford Esquires
April 12, 2001 London Garage
April 23, 2001 Birmingham Jug Of Ale
April 25, 2001 Norwich Arts Centre
April 26, 2001 Oxford Zodiac
April 27, 2001 Sheffield Leadmill
April 28, 2001 Liverpool Stanley Theatre
April 30, 2001 Newcastle University
May 1, 2001 Edinburgh Venue
May 2, 2001 Glasgow King Tut's Wah Wah Hut
May 3, 2001 Dundee On East Air
May 5, 2001 Aberdeen Glow 303
May 6, 2001 Manchester Hop & Grape
May 7, 2001 Leeds Cockpit
May 11, 2001 Brighton Concorde 2
May 12, 2001 Colchester Arts Centre
May 13, 2001 Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach
May 15, 2001 Exeter Cavern
May 16, 2001 Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
May 17, 2001 Leicester Charlotte
May 19, 2001 London Astoria[1]
May 20, 2001 York Fibbers[2]
June 1, 2001 London Scala
Supporting Queens Of The Stone Age
June 5, 2001 Norwich United Kingdom University of East Anglia
June 6, 2001 Folkestone Leas Cliff Hall
June 7, 2001 Newport Newport Centre
June 10, 2001 Birmingham Academy
June 11, 2001 Portsmouth Guildhall
June 12, 2001 Manchester Academy
June 13, 2001 London Brixton Academy
United Kingdom Leg #3
July 3, 2001 Bristol United Kingdom Fleece & Firkin
July 7, 2001 Balado Balado Park[3]
August 10, 2001 Edinburgh Princes Street Gardens[4]
August 14, 2001 Northampton Roadmender
Asia
August 18, 2001 Chiba City Japan Chiba Marine Stadium[5]
August 19, 2001 Osaka Maishima Sports Island[5]
August 21, 2001 Tokyo Liquid Rooms
United Kingdom Leg #4
August 24, 2001 Reading United Kingdom Little John's Farm[6]
August 25, 2001 Leeds Bramham Park[7]
August 26, 2001 Glasgow Glasgow Green[8]
October 31, 2001 Birmingham Sanctuary[9]
November 22, 2001 Peterborough Metropolis Lounge
December 7, 2001 London Rex
December 12, 2001 Birmingham Academy 2
December 13, 2001 London Electric Ballroom
December 14, 2001 Manchester Hop & Grape
December 15, 2001 Glasgow King Tut's Wah Wah Hut

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Smoulder"   Matt Browne & Martyn Nelson 2:07
2. "Bionic"   Matt Browne & Martyn Nelson 2:13
3. "Big Isn't Beautiful"   Matt Browne & Martyn Nelson 2:42
4. "Friday Night Explodes"   Martyn Nelson & Matt Browne 2:40
5. "Aftertime"   Martyn Nelson & Matt Browne 2:38
6. "The Law"   Matt Browne & Martyn Nelson 1:47
7. "Whether"   Martyn Nelson & Matt Browne 3:05
8. "We Are Heroes"   Martyn Nelson & Matt Browne 3:31
9. "Supermuffdiver"   Matt Browne & Martyn Nelson 2:00
10. "Asthmatic"   Martyn Nelson & Matt Browne 1:58
11. "Suffocate"   Matt Browne & Martyn Nelson 4:32

Enhanced CD bonus tracks

No. Title Length
12. "Scream And Shout"   1:51
13. "Aceface"   2:26

Personnel[edit]

Production[edit]

  • Tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 - Produced and mixed by John Cornfield
  • Track 13 - Produced by King Adora, engineered by John Rivers and Mark Thomas
  • Track 14 - Produced by King Adora and Dan Sprigg, mixed by Dan Sprigg and Jamie Travers, engineered by Mark Thomas

Singles[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Dean Carlson (2001-05-21). "Vibrate You - King Adora | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums. London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 302. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Lewis, Ben (Director) (27 October 2012). Who Do You Love? The King Adora Story (Documentary). Siwel Productions. 
  4. ^ a b c "King Adora - Vibrate You (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Interviews". Members.tripod.com. 2001-05-09. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  6. ^ "Interview Two". Angelfire.com. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  7. ^ "Interview One". Angelfire.com. 2001-05-01. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  8. ^ "Exclusive Interview". Members.tripod.com. 2001-02-11. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  9. ^ Drew, Clive (2004-01-30). "King Adora (Maxi Browne) Interview / In Depth // Drowned In Sound". Drownedinsound.com. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  10. ^ "A review". Repeatfanzine.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  11. ^ "Radio 1 - One Live Birmingham - King Adora Webchat". BBC. 2001-10-24. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  12. ^ a b c d e "Official Song Interpretations". Beepworld3.de. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  13. ^ Dean Carlson (2001-05-21). "Allmusic review". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  14. ^ Easthope, Jane (2001-06-09). "Drowned in Sound review". Drownedinsound.com. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  15. ^ "New Musical Express review". Nme.com. 2001-05-09. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  16. ^ "The Guardian review". Theguardian.com. 2001-05-11. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  17. ^ "Various Press". Angelfire.com. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  18. ^ "NME Album Reviews - King Adora : Vibrate You". Nme.Com. 2001-05-09. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  19. ^ Easthope, Jane (2001-06-09). "Album Review: King Adora - Vibrate You / Releases / Releases // Drowned In Sound". Drownedinsound.com. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  20. ^ "Pop CD releases | Culture". The Guardian. 2001-05-11. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  21. ^ a b Drew, Clive (2004-01-30). "King Adora (Maxi Browne) Interview / In Depth // Drowned In Sound". Drownedinsound.com. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  22. ^ "King Adora Land - News Archive". Angelfire.com. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  23. ^ "Radio 1 - One Live in Birmingham - Gig Listings". BBC. 2006-10-05. Retrieved 2014-06-15.