KING LLAMA’S debut full-length album, RETURN TO OX is a journey of instrumental compositions with elements of rock, jazz, funk, and fusion. With imaginative song titles including “Call Me Elmo,” “Stogies ‘n Juice,” and “Cap’n Mustard Hair,” one can expect a sense of creativity and adventure, which is exactly what the listener gets!
One can hear a range of prog/fusion/eclectic stylings from the history of adventurous music.
This trio can create a surprisingly fat sound that defies expectations. There are gritty distorted bass tones mixed with classic wah wah guitar leads. There is rhythmically complex drumming, odd meter and poly-rhythmic beats, coupled with dynamic changes of differ-ing moods and styles. The overall sound is highly stimulating to the progressive and open-minded listener.
There is a strong foundation of music knowledge and appreciation within each of King Llama's members. Ryan, and Luis are originally self taught, but subsequently had extensive training (both privately, and at professional institutions), most recently at Musician's Institute in Los Angeles. The band’s training in composition and arrangement, as well as their instrumental virtuosity shines through on everything they play.
RETURN TO OX has a very live feel to it, as the band prides itself on its stage performance, and likes capturing that in the studio. Their live show both delivers the quality that fans expect, and also has an element of spontaneity with surprise guest appearances, and left-leaning repertoire. A strong bond between the band members, both musical and personal, animates their ability to communicate through such elongated and complex compositions.