Album Review: Her World by Msking

If No Doubt had been born out of grunge instead of ska, or if Hayley Williams had been born 15 years earlier.


By Andy McFerren

Msking (pronounced “miss king”) is a grunge pop trio based in Salt Lake City that just released their EP, Her World, in January of this year. The band consists of Karl Ricky on guitar and co-lead vocals, Lew on bass and co-lead vocals, and Sam Johnson on drums. 


The Utah music scene in recent years has been chock full of indie rock, indie pop, and indie folk bands, some of which teeter on the edge of glorified EFY music. 

Salt Lake City, however, has a history of a slightly darker, slightly edgier side. Since its heyday roughly 40 years ago, Salt Lake’s punk scene has ebbed and flowed but never truly gone away. More recently, punk has been resurrected and is currently thriving. 

Though not really punk, Msking fits among this darker side of the scene. It’s heavy, it’s brooding, and it’s got enough distortion to fry an egg.


And while the guitar riffs are catchy, the bass lines fuzzy enough and powerful enough to shake your soul, with the drums steadying and driving the ship along the way (this doesn’t do the drums justice), the vocals are what set this EP apart. These vocals will stick with you long after you’re dead and decomposing. 

As mentioned above, both Lew and Karl Ricky share responsibilities switching off between lead vocals and harmonies. Lew takes the lead on “Bad Joke,” “Flower,” and “Her World,” with Karl Ricky taking it on “Bruise” and “The Machine.” And found within the vocals on these five tracks is a range of genre and sound that you probably won’t believe when I tell you. 

There’s a virile quality to the verses and harmonies on “Bad Joke” that reminds me of the late, great Dolores O’Riordan, lead singer of The Cranberries. 

The authority in Lew’s voice makes you believe that she means it when she says, “Shut up, I love you,” while simultaneously making you believe that you are in fact a “heartless bastard.” 


And when the vocals don’t harken back to one legend of the ‘90s, they harken back to another. “Her World” is like if No Doubt had been born out of grunge instead of ska. 

But there’s so much more. The outro to “Flowers” reminds me of System Of A Down. “The Machine” reminds me of Chevelle. And much like how I wonder what No Doubt would sound like if they were inspired by grunge as opposed to ska, “Bruise” and “Flower” make me wonder what our world would be like had Hayley Williams been born 15 years earlier. 

And if these comparisons sound too out-there to be true, just go listen to the EP and decide for yourself. The influence, the sound, it’s all there. 

Make sure to follow Msking on Instagram and check out “The Machine” below!


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