GG King Esoteric Lore LP reissue

Originally released in 2011, GG KING’s seminal album is back in circulation with a freshly remastered pressing, courtesy of State Laughter. Esoteric Lore embodies a pivotal moment in the modern history of Atlanta’s punk scene. Emerging from the ashes of the CARBONAS, singer Greg King’s new endeavor would essentially redefine the city’s iconic sound, in which said group had played an outsized role in establishing in the preceding decade. Rather than continuing on in that vein of desperately gritty power-pop-inspired punk, GG KING were to incorporate influences from a far more broad swath of genres. Esoteric Lore is gloriously messy and experimental, at times motorik, noisy, and angular—only to snap back into a familiar mode of melodicism now cracked and damaged. Gurgling up in the cauldron are nods to 100 FLOWERS, WIRE, NEU!, the FALL, and too many more to mention without completely losing the plot. The album is bookended by unstructured soundscapes, and many of the seventeen tracks have endings that fade out, which makes the whole thing feel hazy, fluid, and experiential. Then there are moments where everything suddenly comes into sharp relief, like the whiplash inducing cover of JOHNNY MOPED’s “Incendiary Device.” While Esoteric Lore may be unresolved, it is just as vital as it was twelve years ago. Taking into account how massively influential GG KING has been to punk in the Southeastern US (and far beyond), it’s hard to think of this album as anything short of a bona fide classic.