The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

KING KOBRA - KING KOBRA

 

Frontiers records

 

Released APRIL 2011

 

 

 

‘Rock This House’ according to Jo who listened to this one with me is one of the best rock tracks in years. Not a bad start to the new King Kobra album then! After a few more listens I tend to agree: it would be hard to find an album in recent years that kicks in with something like this: it’s big, it’s bad and it rocks! I’ve not heard an album that transports you as completely to a particular moment in time for such a long time: this is vintage eighties and solid as a rock.

 

The first thing that struck me about KK’s latest is how they seem to hit the groove from the off. There’s no warm-up, no easing in and thankfully there’s no easing off the pedal either. From the first note there’s the big Carmine groove combining with Johnny's bass and driving us forward on the wave, there’s Dave’s and Mick's guitar picking out those notes that sound so familiar like all the best new songs; and finally there’s Paul Shortino’s voice which, to be blunt, has rarely sounded better.

 

Back in the day KK was always an underdog despite the stewardship of the mighty sticksman Carmine Appice. In truth first time round they had more than their fair share of moments but never made it to major league status: this time it’s different: the guys have a few more years under their collective belts, a few good times a few bad and they use it all to make sure that with each song they keep heading in the right direction.

 

‘Turn Up the Good Times’ has a nice groove and suits Paul’s voice well, a voice that really comes to the fore on the stunningly catchy and beautifully written  ‘Live Forever’ which is an instant sing-along melodic masterpiece for your collection. There’s a Paul Rodgers-like elegance to Paul’s vocal on ‘Tear Down the Walls’ which starts well and morphs into a solid anthem.

 

Here at the Rockpit we’ve always been big fans of the band here individually: Carmine’s ‘Vanilla Fudge’; Dave’s ‘Big Cock’ and ‘Tunnel’; Johhny's legendary antics; Mick's early 'Bulletboys' and Paul’s ‘Rough Cutt’, Quiet Riot’ and solo ventures have all gone down well. This then is the culmination of the experience of a bunch of great musicians and to be honest what they have bottled is bloody good stuff!

 

‘This is how we Roll’ takes a little Whitesnake and rolls it in trademark KK guitar; ‘Midnight Woman’ is a great mid-tempo rocker with plenty of soul and a great solo.  ‘We Got a Fever’ is one of the bluesier tracks here and a real favourite, it reminds me a little of Little Caesar and Paul even sounds a little like Ron Young at times too.

 

‘On Top of the World’ again hits melodic highs and is another one that will have you singing along, while ‘You Make it Easy’ again provides another great showcase for Shortino and has a nice slow-burning groove.

 

One of the highlights has to be the ballad ‘Crying Turns to Rain’ which just seems to smell of Summer and has an indefinable almost sixties feel driving it forward, a little like what Mr Big managed to capture in their lighter moments.  Then just to prove they can do it ‘Screaming for More’ hits the ‘fun’ button in the style of early Van Halen, and all too soon it’s at an end. Fade Away’ is a great way to close proceedings, there’s some beautiful lyrics carrying the ballad along. In fact it is the song that Paul sang down the phone to me when I interviewed him in January.

 

We may not be around here tomorrow, or in a place that we can stay, no time to beg, no time to borrow, just take it day by day. The greatest thing we ever know is to live life for today, so let your love show before we fade away.

 

It’s a very refined sound and a wonderfully structured song.

 

I enjoy this album more with each listen. When I heard the Whitesnake CD a couple of weeks back I proclaimed it was the year of the Snake. This release from King Kobra just confirms it…

 

So where’s the catch? Well I for one am still looking!

 

Our recent interview with Paul can be found here:

 

  

Mark Diggins