Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the release of KING KOBRA’s new studio album “II” on July 5th in Europe and July 9th in North America.
King Kobra’s long-awaited reunion album “King Kobra” (s/t) released on Frontiers Records in 2011, left no doubt that this was a band to be reckoned with. Even though nearly 25 years had passed since the original line-up recorded the landmark “Ready To Strike” and “Thrill Of A Lifetime” albums, the energy and immediacy of the bands lightning attack had not diminished one iota and fans responded in kind.
“We chose to name this album “II” because it is both the second album of our reformation with Frontiers Records as well as the second generation of the band with Paul Shortino as lead vocalist,” says guitarist David Michael-Philips. “Paul’s unique style gives the band a new feel apart from what we were in the 80s with original singer Mark/Marcie Free. I think the “re-boot” naming gives Paul the credit he deserves while paying homage to our original singer and sound”.
The thick, soulful vocals of Paul Shortino, dual guitarists Mick Sweda and David Michael-Philips, and the thundering bass and drums of Johnny Rod and Carmine Appice delivered an album that, while easily carrying on the tradition of the first two releases, brought a contemporary twist to a signature melodic, hard rock style. “The “70’s” flavour of this new album was a conscious move to incorporate our influences into the music,” says David Michael-Philips, while Carmine Appice adds “King Kobra was a band in the ‘80s with great players…and had roots in the ‘70s also.. We tried to make a cool combination of both, which I think we achieved with this new album”.
Produced by David Henzerling with Carmine Appice and Paul Shortino, “II” digs into King Kobra hard rock roots to create an album that has all the swagger and swing of the classic 70’s albums (think Montrose, Bad Company, Deep Purple and even Carmine’s own legendary Cactus) with a crystal clear sound that combines the best of both analogue and digital recording techniques. From the tight and punchy “Have A Good Time” to the 8-minute epic “Deep River”, “II” shows a more mature band confident of its songwriting ability performing with the technical prowess garnered over years of experience.
“II” tracklisting includes: Hell On Wheels; Knock ‘Em Dead; Have A Good Time; The Ballad Of Johnny
Rod; Take Me Back; When The Hammer Comes Down; Running Wild; The Crunch; Got It Comin’; Deep River;
Don’t Keep Me Waiting; We Go Round.
Enjoy a Youtube presentation of the new album following this link : http://youtu.be/pBx-B16Pgzk
Paul Shortino – vocals
David Michael-Philips – Guitar
Mick Sweda – Guitar
Johnny Rod – Bass Guitar
Carmine Appice – drums
I have been a fan of Paul Shortino since his Rough Cutt days. When I heard he was taking over the vocals duties for the King Kobra reunion, I couldn’t have been happier. I was hopeful that his vocals would help propel King Kobra to new heights. I can happily that say that Shortino’s voice is stronger than ever. His vocals are a good match for King Kobra.
In my opinion, King Kobra’s music has been hit or miss over the years. Their debut album Ready To Strike is still my de facto favorite. The latest effort from King Kobra, doesn’t surpass the debut album, but it is still pretty good. In all reality, it might not be fair to compare this version of King Kobra to the original version as Shortino’s vocals are much different from those of Mark/Marcie Free. If I were to compare this CD to the original releases of Rough Cutt, Shortino’s former band, it stands out extremely well.
“Rock the House” opens the album in fine fashion with a cool party rock anthem. “Turn Up the Good Times” helps deliver that one-two punch. This heavy rocker is the perfect complement to “Rock the House”. King Kobra came firing out of the gate for this CD.
The pace slows down for the song “Live Forever”. The funny thing about “Live Forever” is, if this song was released twenty years ago, it could have been a hit for King Kobra. It might just be the perfect melodic rock tune.
“Tear Down The Walls” was always just a clichéd title from the 80’s. I remember a lot of bands taking a lot of crap for this song title. Nonetheless, King Kobra’s “Tear Down the Walls” does rock.
“Midnight Woman” is a great sing-along tune that won’t get out of my head.
I can’t begin to tell you how much I love the drumming of Carmine Appice. His drum fills on “We Got a Fever” remind me so much of the way he played on the Blue Murder debut. His excellent drumming combined with the awesome riffs from Mick Sweda and David Michael-Phillips make this one enjoyable tune.
It was a minor disappoint to me that the song “Monsters & Heroes” was not on this CD. This is a really cool King Kobra tune that was released last winter. It got quite a bit of play on the Hard Rock Hideout radio show.
Personally, I am quite happy to see these guys back in action. I have been listening to King Kobra, and all of the bands the members of King Kobra have been in for years. From Blue Murder, to W.A.S.P., to Bulletboys, to Rough Cutt, and Big Cock. There are so many great bands that the collective members of King Kobra went on to form. I think it is cool that they all got back together to give us another cool set of tunes to enjoy.
Overall, this is a solid album for King Kobra. I think the band’s long time fans will enjoy it.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Rock This House
2. Turn Up The Good Times
3. Live Forever
4. Tear Down The Walls
5. This Is How We Roll
6. Midnight Woman
7. We Got A Fever
8. Top of the World
9. You Make It Easy
10. Cryin’ Turns To Rain
11. Screamin’ For More
12. Fade Away
Carmine Appice – Drums
David Michael Philips – Guitar
Johnny Rod – Bass
Paul Shortino – Lead Vocals
Mick Sweda – Guitar