What does it sound like?:
King King take the listener back in a time capsule to the mid-seventies when Hard Rock was the dominant musical genre strutting across the free world. Free, themselves, might have broken up but there was still Bad Company to enjoy. It seemed each individual member of Deep Purple had formed their own equally successful band. Even Uriah Heep made a good living. If Exile & Grace was released in 1975, with an opening track and single called (She Don’t) Gimme No Lovin’, it would be bound to succeed.
In 2017, it’s easy to use the word ‘derivative’ as a derogatory term for a band with a Hammond organist a bit like Jon Lord, a guitarist reminiscent of Paul Kossof, a vocalist similar to David Coverdale, a bassist as melodic as Geezer Butler and a drummer as driven as Mikkey Dee. However, these guys can really play, they write good songs, complete with riffs and choruses, they have a dynamic presence and are great studio technicians. King King know exactly what they are doing. They have actually been around for seven years and have developed their songwriting and style over that time from Blues to Rock, stadium-filling Rock. Their leader, Alan Nimmo, is from Glasgow and sports a Royal Stewart kilt when performing live. He plays guitar, sings and writes most of the songs. The band is as tight and as powerful as a clenched fist. Every year, pretty much, they, or the literally related, Nimmo Brothers, in which Alan teams up with Steve, walk away with almost every category of The British Blues Awards, the bassist, Lindsay Coulson gathering most garlands after Nimmo himself.
Young, enthusiastic musicians enjoying themselves, doing what they love, what’s not to like? Well, the trouble with young people today is that they are nice, polite and, for the most part, avoid drugs. They worry about the state of the world and care about other’s feelings. King King are technically superb musicians but hardly the Rock Monsters of yore. That frisson of danger is absent. They even throw in a couple of ballads, albeit unconvincing ones. The Rock snobs will declare they only do what’s been done before. That may be true but what King King do, they do as well or better than many ‘classic’ Rock acts from the seventies.
Exile & Grace is pleasingly honest, gets the pulse racing and is easily as good as any Nazareth album. Grizzled old Afterworders who like Rock should give it a chance.
What does it all *mean*?
King King are canny businessmen. The Hard Rock on Exile & Grace is a calling card that will pull in offers from Canada and the U.S. They are rapidly attracting fans from all over the globe. The future looks bright for Alan Nimmo and his crew.
Goes well with…
Beer, leather, a Rock Chick and a stadium.
Might suit people who like…
Hard Rock, Blues Rock, Whitesnake, Thunder.