Fireworks

King Kobra - 'King Kobra' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/17/57/87/1129_KingKobraKingKobra_1300560836.jpg Hot

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The rebirth of a legend.

1984 saw the emergence of ‘King Kobra’ on the bustling L.A. metal circuit. A band assembled by the legendary drummer Carmine Appice, and consisting of a bunch of relatively unknown musicians, touting their talents on the ‘Sunset Strip’. The line up consisted of David Michael – Philips and Mick Sweda on guitar, Johnny Rod on bass and Mark Free on lead vocals. 

The chemistry of that first inception of the band brought about massive media interest, which almost hit fever pitch upon the release of their 1985 debut album for ‘Capitol Records’, the excellent ‘Ready to Strike’, which was swiftly followed by 1986’s ‘Thrill of a Lifetime’.

1988 saw the band release their third effort on the indie label ‘Rocker Records’, suitably titled ‘King Kobra III’ and ranking as a very strong album among AOR purists. Unfortunately KK dipped in the popularity stakes, due personnel changes, which ultimately saw them being dropped from the ‘Capitol Records’ roster.

A lacklustre and frankly embarrassing release in 2001, the widely slated ‘Hollywood Trash’, killed off the ill fated comeback instantly upon ‘MTM Records’ launching the effort. That is until now.

The year 2010 saw the band reunite the original classic 1985 line up, replacing Mark (Marcie) Free with Paul Shortino of ‘Rough Cutt/ Quiet Riot’ fame. Thanks to ‘Frontiers Records’ 2011 brings us a new album, and owing to the fact that it is self titled, it gives a statement of intent, embracing the re birth of a legend.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The albums opener ‘Rock This House’ introduces us to Shortino’s husky blues drenched vocals, perfectly suiting the reborn KK sound. The track is a perfect rock anthem, merging the styles of mid 80’s King Kobra meets Rough Cutt, double trouble indeed (no pun intended). Next up ‘Turn Up The Good Times’, continuing the party rock atmosphere, with some funky bass tones dominating throughout. My favourite track follows, entitled ‘Live Forever’, so rich and silky smooth is this one that it’s in danger of over throwing ‘Iron Eagle’, as my all time favourite KK track, praise indeed.

When you have a band of this quality and song titles along the likes of ‘Tear Down The Walls’, ‘This Is How We Roll’ and ‘Top Of The World’, you just know that the end result is going to leave you drooling and begging for more. ‘Midnight Woman’ rocks hard in fishnet stockings and high heels, classic ingredients, getting down with some dirty guitar licks and suggestive rhythmic drum beats setting the scene.

The album breezes along competently displaying a heavy melodic theme right up to the obligatory ballad ,‘Crying Turns To Rain’ which offers a soothing change in mood, a beautiful and mostly acoustic number, as is the equally satisfying closing track ‘Fade Away’, proving that these guys still have ability and diversity to deliver modern classic of the AOR genre.

Julian Handley

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