Poster boys for Blues/Rock, King King just go from strength to strength.
The last album, ‘Standing In The Shadows’ was a monster, easily the best genre album of 2013, but this goes some way to topping it for consistency and sheer balls. This is proper Blues, brilliantly played and with so much heart and gusto that anyone else pales in it’s shadow.
Alan Nimmo is in fine voice, his growling voice full of passion and a remarkable amount of subtlety for a big man while his lead guitar is rocking, full of riffery and when he solos he hits you between the eyes. Wayne Proctor’s drumming shows just why he keeps getting the votes for Best British Drummer year after year and Lindsay Coulson’s bass is perfect for this band, as fluid as Andy Fraser but with a heartbeat that underpins the music with real granite. To that add Bob Fridzema’s Hammond and keyboards and the band gets a fully three dimensional sound that pins you in your seat but brings you along with the melodies and the rhythm too.
Then you come to the songs – blammo! Big, anthemic Blues Rockers like ‘Crazy’ or ‘Hurricane’, big riffs and soaring keys or a melodic Blues like ‘You Stopped The Rain’ showing Nimmo’s softer vocal side. The awesome ‘Rush Hour’, deep in Bad Company territory with softly picked guitar and whispering keys leading into a huge riff and massive chorus and a solo that will have air-guitarists everywhere reaching for their ‘Axe’.
‘Lay With Me’ is a lovely ballad, gospel tinged and pleading with wonderful Hammond from Fridzema and ‘Take A Look’ is a Blues ballad in the classic sense – this will be a live favourite for years. ‘Just A Little Lie’ shows that they can funk it up too, lighter and less of a slab (and the only non-original – written by Pau; Carrack & Charlie Dore) but closer ‘Stranger To Love’ is THE one bringing all their power, huge choruses, melodies and riffs into a package you don’t want to end.
I expected to like the album and first time through I thought it was pretty fine but now I’ve given it some deep attention it has grabbed my ear and isn’t letting go.
They really do go from strength to strength and this is epic.