Kodiak Jack Alhambra
Kodiak Jack appeared on Rockgig's radar last month when they supported Tesla on their sole UK date at Islington Academy.
" Alhambra " is the follow up to the bands debut cd " Your Death My Glory " that came out in 2011 and was received well by the critics. It also caught the eye of legendary Tesla bassist Brian Wheat who asked to come on board and produce the new cd.
I love my rock music to have huge riffs and melodic choruses you can sing along too (however bad I sing ! ) and a real chance to lose yourself in the music. This cd lets you do that in fact after repeated plays my 2 boys (15 and 11) both have been heard to sing out loud to the choruses.
Both of them have been to see Whitesnake, Journey, The Answer, Nickelback with Black Stone Cherry to come in the autumn so they like rock music thank goodness.
Led by the cast iron pipes of vocalist Bryn Roberts and the riffs of Jeff Arnold and Jon Karp the band have created 11 songs that sits in classic rock circles but with enough modern influences to keep everyone happy. With the rhythm team of Kev Farren and Kieran Bellinger laying down a monstrous groove this is heavy rock that needs to be heard by the masses.
I hate comparisons to who a band sounds like as they then get put in pigeon holes so lets just say Kodiak Jack tick many many boxes and need to be heard by all.
" Get Out Live " starts the cd and also the recent live show with its insistent riff, driving drums and aggressive vocal line and huge chorus with some excellent backing vocals too. Short melodic guitar solo fits just so right as it all wraps up in 3 and a half minutes of adrenaline fuelled rock. Phew!!
" Brother " slows things down a little with a bobbing bass line and a slightly down tuned riff that hits home hard with Bryn really telling a story . A wonderful wah wah induced guitar solo from Jeff fits in perfectly too.
" Wasted Youth " was a real showstopper with its chugging single riff before Bryn and then Kieran join in before everyone kicks in with a huge driving riff and drum pattern that has heads shaking. Bryn really belts out the chorus that starts " Ain't no stopping us now we've got something to say!! " and believe me they have.
" More Than This " keeps the standard high with a juddering riff and driving rhythm with another huge chorus telling the world " There's gotta be much more than this, there's gotta be more to life than this " and lets be honest we all feel that at times. If all music was this good that would be a good starting place I can tell you.
" Crossfire " starts with a huge riff that could fell an elephant at 100 yards and heads banging everywhere. Nice blend of light and shade on this song too with some excellent bass from Kev before another superb guitar solo that just fits right in.
"Them " is another high energy song with Kieran's drums driving the song over a nagging riff before another chorus with superb backing vocals. After the guitar solo a slightly forced vocal delivery from Bryn adds another texture to their armoury.
" No Surrender " begs to be played live with another up tempo riff and drum rhythm that again makes you want to jump around with a slightly punkier edge to it.
" Waves " has probably the heaviest riff on the cd before a drum and bass rhythm and Bryn vocal take it down a notch before the guitars kick in for the huge chorus. Simply massive sound and you can imagine it going down a storm live or at a rock club. An epic song with more light and shade in. So good to see a young band who know how to bang you around the head with huge riffs but who also take it back a notch knowing that as they crash back in again it kicks twice as hard.
" Live To Fight " gives Bryn a chance to shine in the first half of the song as he shows some real emotion on this balladic number. The band then kick in and another excellent solo finishes the song off superbly.
" La Rue " has another big riff I remember from the live show. Some excellent melodies in the chorus and some nice melodic guitar touches over the riff too.
" Coming Home " is the perfect way for Kodiak Jack to finish off this high quality cd. A stop / start riff after a rumbling bass start and Bryn again to the fore with his powerful vocal melody. Just before the chorus all the band kick in and the musicality of the band shines through with more superb guitar soloing to finish the song.
A band this young should not produce this quality so early in a career.
I can't praise this cd enough it really should see Kodiak Jack right at the forefront of the next generation of British bands.
Buy it turn it up and enjoy.
Kodiak Jack play some dates in the UK in September.