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King Kobra - II


Stefan
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New album out July 5th on Frontiers Records.

 

KK+cover+(1).jpg

 

Tracklist:

 

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

 

 

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I've been a huge fan of King Kobra for years. Their last album is quite solid and I'm really looking forward to this one. I never thought that they'd make a new one, let alone two. It's funny that II is coming out 25 years after III (with two albums in between).

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Not a huge fan of KK, but I am a huge fan of Shortino's voice. The samples sound pretty good, particularly 'Knock Em Dead' and 'Hell On Wheels'...

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The clips sound promising. Interestingly enough, this is probably the first time in King Kobra's unusual career that two of their albums will sound similar. Ready To Strike and Thrill Of A Lifetime were released in consecutive years (1985 and 1986) and had the same lineup, but they went for a pretty different sound on the latter, even though it has some excellent songs. Then III came out in 1988 with only Carmine and David still in the band and a drastically different singer with Johnny Edwards. I think that the album itself is excellent, but it sounds nothing like the King Kobra of just a few years earlier. The band ended soon after and in a few years rock music was no longer popular. Years later, Carmine put a new King Kobra project together with some new guys and some old guys contributing and they put out Hollywood Trash in 2001. It seemed that the band would never be heard from again, but then the original lineup (minus Mark Free, plus Paul Shortino) decided to get together and release King Kobra in 2011. Like Hollywood Trash before it, I thought that this was going to be a one-off thing. Fortunately, they announced that they'd be making another one and now it's almost here. It's the first time since their first two albums to have the same lineup, and this "second time around" (GET IT? ;)) the band appears to have a consistent sound for the first time ever.

 

My King Kobra favorites are still the unique, underrated masterpiece Ready To Strike and the fun, rockin' III, but these two latest ones have been an excellent treat.

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Followed the path of the earlier Shortino-Kobra, 'II' implemented a non-sappy, straight forward hard rock / heavy metal album. Still a good formula although I expect 2-3 AOR-ish tracks at least for variation, but they didn't give any except for maybe the only ballad here, 'Take Me Back', and I must say I love that track. Paul's vocal is just amazing, he has the power, he has the rasp, and fits perfectly for this kinda music, but there is a slight problem with this album which is the consistency.

 

It lacks that one thing that made this album packed with killers as well as fillers. 'Knock Em Dead', for example, is a superb killer, reminds me of old Motley Crue, especially from Shout at the Devil era, a 10/10 I guess. I also like 'The Ballad of Johnny Rod', 'Running Wild', 'The Crunch' [a solid 9/10!], and 'Don't Keep Me Waiting', but I suspect many won't favor the fillers like 'When The Hammer Comes Down', 'Got It Comin', and 'Deep River' which is the worst and longest track.

 

The rest are quite solid, such as 'Hell On Wheels' - should have tweaked the verse, but it has a punchy melodic chorus, 'Have A Good Time' and 'We Go Around' worth 7.25 to 7.5. Production might be around 8/10, musicianship is 8.5 and boosted with Paul's vocal of course, and replay value should fall around 7.5. So the newie might be slightly lower than the s/t, but both I guess will quite please the crowd.

 

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I gotta say I found this album to be rubbish, basically. Good production job and good sound - but the songs are weak as piss. Is that video for 'Have a good time' meant to indicate that is one of the better songs on the CD? Because it's a banal piece of plodding shit, and would be a filler on any single album ever recorded. No one could possibly argue that is anything but pure filler. But they made a video for the song? Why???

 

Anyway, 'Knock 'em dead' is a pretty decent riff driven hard rocker, 'Take me back' is an okay, solid ballad, 'The crunch' is actually a really good melodic rocker, and without doubt the best song on the CD, and I also don't mind the closer, 'We go round,' despite it's messy chorus. So that's 4 songs out of 12. What are the other 8 like, you ask? Rubbish, basically, is what they are, imo... of course. :)

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