King King Reaching For The Light
King King's new album reaching For The Light is out this week on Manhaton Records and is the follow up to their Walking In The Shadows cd that won the band the best album award at the 2014 British Blues Awards as well as the best band award too.
Many bands would buckle under the pressure of writing the follow up and album number 3 but King King have taken it to another level with an album that should see their mantelpiece buckle under the weight of the new awards coming their way.
King King are led from the front by the superb vocals and guitar playing of Alan Nimmo.He is ably backed up by Lindsay Coulson on bass,Wayne Proctor on drums and Bob Fridzema on Hammond organ and keyboards.
Over the course of 44 minutes and 9 tracks(one cover of Paul Carrack's Just A Little Lie)King King throw rock,soul,funk and blues into a blender and make it their own.
First up is the single Hurricane and is a great opener.Over a driving drum rhythm you get flourishes of Hammond,bobbing bass and guitar melodies and the first of 9 classic vocal performances from Alan who has a real Paul Rodgers flow to his voice.Big kudo's to the mix that let's the music breathe and has a live feel to it.It would be interesting to find out how many takes it took to record it the album as the essence of live music flows through every note.A big chorus takes centre stage as the band build up to it.Alan's short picked guitar solo fits just so.Must be the show opener on the upcoming tour.
You Stopped The Rain (I wish today as it hasn't stopped!!) was made for the word smooth.Wonderful guitar melody at the start and the song flows with some delightful light and shade and a strummed riff and Hammond stabs giving the song a real depth.Great chorus and the guitar solo from Alan shows real quality with his emotion and passion shining through.Telling us a story as all guitar solo's should.
Waking Up starts on a driving drum rhythm and add to it a stop start guitar riff,a great bass line and that wonderful Hammond sound with a song that showcases what a real band sound like.Another pure great chorus that just flows over you and makes you want to listen to it again.
Rush Hour starts on a picked guitar note and with Hammond accompaniment Alan shows off his vocal range and if you close your eyes it could be Paul Rodgers and Bad Company at their best and let's be honest it doesn't get much better than that.At the pre chorus the band all kick in and a short melodic guitar solo add's to the quality.In the middle of the song a stop start guitar riff is interspersed with a Hammond riff that fills in the gaps superbly.The song ends as it began on Alan's picked riff and vocal.
Crazy take sit up a notch with a start with huge Hammond swathes and guitar riff before it goes left field and the actual riff is a funky little number backed by a great bass line.It could be 2 songs in one.Alan again shows his vocal qualities taking every last bit of air he can on some big notes.The mid song riff changes slightly with a more Hammond swathes and a newer funky riff.The song outro sees the whole band pick up the pace and I can imagine this being one of the live show highlights.
Lay With Me is a superb soulful ballad built on Alan's vocal and a keys riff on a laid back track that deserves air play.
Just A Little Lie sees a funky bass line and a wah wah guitar line on the Paul Carrack cover that the band have turned into a King King song.
Take A Look is a 6 minute plus song with a strummed guitar riff and Hammond start before it goes down a notch on Alan's vocal before it builds to a superb chorus.More light and shade mid song before Alan's lengthy guitar solo again paints a picture with a solo that has a couple of parts to it and as you think it ends it goes on again.A harmony guitar solo in the outro adds to the musical journey on another one built to be played live.
Stranger To Love is a perfect closer showcasing all of the bands qualities.Great vocals,drum and bass in unison and that Hammond sound.A driving drum rhythm mid song and a big guitar riff take you up before it slows down to a picked guitar solo and more wonderful bass backing.It all then builds to a crescendo as the rest of the band come in at the end of the guitar solo with more Hammond for good measure added.
As the cd stops you are left wanting more as all great albums should.
Reaching For The Light sees King King reaching for the next level and surpassing it.
The band launch Reaching For The Light with a show at London's Jazz Cafe on Wednesday the 6th of May before hitting the road in the UK in October and November.