Reviews roundup – King King vs. Gina Sicilia vs. Dust vs. Petrichor vs. Andalusia Rose
Blimey! That’s a lot of blues rock. A double live CD and a DVD. I’ll need a lie down. See I come from a world where a double album meant 70 – 80 minutes of music but in the CD world you’re getting twice that. Thankfully, however, King King have merely spread the 80 minutes over 2 discs which came as a tremendous relief.
The live album was recorded at King King’s hometown concert at the ABC in Glasgow on 14th May 2016 while the DVD was filmed at the Holmfirth Picturedrome a month earlier. The band – Alan Nimmo (vocals, guitar), Lindsay Coulson (bass), Wayne Proctor (drums) and Bob Fridzema (keyboards) – certainly seem to relish the occasion and there is a lot to enjoy here.
Now I can’t tell you anything about the DVD as the promo only has the CD version but they certainly know how to crank it up. Turns out this was the fourth attempt on the tour to capture a live album and musically the band are bang on even if a couple of the songs are extended beyond their natural life span.
In front of over a thousand rabid fans songs like “Lose Control”, “Let Love In” and “Rush Hour” really come to life. Shame then that Alan Nimmo seems to be struggling vocally in a few places. A quick internet search and it turns out he needed surgery straight after the tour which explains a lot. That aside this is a release that their ever growing fanbase will snap up with gusto.
It must be about ten years since I first encountered Gina Sicilia and told anyone not quick enough to get away how she was going to be next big thing. Which explains why I’m still sitting here in the frozen North writing reviews instead of sunning myself on a yacht being gently fanned by a small Filipino.
But she’s been beavering away over the last decade touring and recording and her latest offering is this five track EP. Now I like the EP having been been brought up in a world of 7″ singles and this one is a real treat.
Ms Sicilia has always had a great voice and it’s showcased here to great effect. There has always been a touch of soul to her performances as well, which explains the splendid cover of “Tell Him”, a song that was a big hit for Billie Davis in the UK fifty years back. But it’s her own songs that really sell this with “Abandoned” and “I Cried” the absolute standouts, where she wrings every ounce of emotion out of her performance.
If you’ve missed out on her earlier releases, put that right now.
Ooh! This is a bit good. Well it if is seventies retro rock with a swinging vibe floats your boat. And that’s what you’re getting from these Swedish rockers.
In fact if this were the seventies then the word groovy could easily be applied. Vocalist Roger Solander is their ace in the pack as he has one of those classic rock roars that goes from a whisper to a scream and which really suits the material.
That’s not to say the riffs aren’t good as well, because they are. Along with guitarist Johan Niskanen, the bassist Bernt Ek and drummer Örjan Englin, Solander brings the songs to life in grand style on this, their second album. Their first was self released and they’ve re-recorded two tracks for this record. The can rock out with the best of them as they do on “The King Is Coming” and bring it down a notch on the seventies Whitesnake like “Waiting For You”.
Wherever you drop the needle there is something worth listening to and even if a couple of the tracks don’t quite work, this is still an album worth hearing.
What We’ve Noticed
That’s a lot of people. Yes, Petrichor are a young up and coming US modern rock band with no less than seven members including three vocalists.
Which is probably two too many as it makes for some uneasy listening. But for a band formed in high school not that long ago they actually do have some real potential. It’s an odd sound for a young band as a lot of the material seems to hark back to a time when yacht rock was dominating the US airwaves.
But they do it with a modern twist and some interesting arrangements on songs like “Illusions” and Basement Hamsters”. For sure there are a few too many Coldplay references but once they shrug those off, they could give the modrn rock world a run for their money.
Three years on from their debut and Andalusia Rose are back with some excellent female fronted throwback hard rock.
They’ve got a seventies rock bedrock topped off with some blues and soul influences which really allows the vocals of Wendy Lee Gadzuk to shine through. The band are a sharp sounding power trio who also throw in some psych and fuzz into the equation and end up with a fine sounding racket.
Bassist Jeff “Vengeance” Klukowski and drummer Paul Jarvis certainly know how to drive a rhythm and on songs like the title track and “”Destroyer” the groove is quite amazing. They lose direction a little on the last two tracks, especially on the cover of “The Rose” but they’re the kind of band that could and should rip a club to pieces.