My Top Ten albums of 2019: #9 38 Minutes – The King Blues

It’s been 15 years since Green Day released American Idiot and yet, as far as I’m aware (and I’m happy to be proven otherwise), no one else has taken on the “punk opera” mould, until now. 38 Minutes isn’t The King Blues best album (that’s probably 2011’s Punk & Poetry), but I’d say it’s their bravest. It tells the story, using (I think fictional) stories of inhabitants of Hawaii and the kind of reactions and emotions that many of the islands citizens would have felt when, in 2018 an alert was sent out to peoples phones warning of them of an imminent missile attack, it took 38 minutes before they were told that this had been a false alarm. It’s best listened to as an album rather than as individual tracks (and the band performed it as a puppet opera) as frontman Johnny “Itch” Fox narrates the stories of his characters throughout, but standout tracks for me are definitely “Boomer and the Severed Goats Head” and “Let’s Go Out in Style”.

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