The fourth studio album from Scotland’s blues-rock legends KING KING “Exile & Grace” is due October 6th , mixed by Chris Sheldon (Foo Fighters, Feeder, Therapy) and released through Manhaton records.
The band are famous for the familiar crushed-rock voice of Alan Nimmo, with his super-talented compañeros and their mottled rhythms, clinking keys and the brilliance of his guitar-work.
Their hooks — their looks — even their stage presence, it’s all muscular and strong… Yet these musicians are super-cool about their undoubted ability. They are self-possessed, always under control.
“Exile & Grace definitely has a rockier feel and sound to it,” said Alan Nimmo. “We are following our influences from the Classic Rock genre, Bad Company, Whitesnake and Thunder. We really set out to challenge ourselves with this album. We’ve stepped up the quality of song writing and pushed ourselves physically in both performance and delivery...”
The band embarks on its biggest UK tour in January 2018 [dates below video] taking in Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London, Bath Forum, Birmingham Town Hall, Sheffield Leadmill and Edinburgh Queen’s Hall [ticket line 0844 478 0898]
We had a listen to “Exile & Grace” —
The album begins with the first single “(She Don’t) Gimme No Lovin” a brilliantly commercial hard rock number with blues-influenced organ and a riff-oriented sound that is delivered with admirable ease.
The rhythm is sharp and energetic… it’s a mass of solid, robust and durable shapes. It reminded us of Blind Faith…. perhaps with the radiant finish we might expect from Lovehunter-era Whitesnake.
“Heed the Warning” originated from a blues-jam with Greg Rzab (the bass player at John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers) so be prepared for flavourful bass notes along with muscle-some guitars, plus exciting connective tissues created by those ever-slurring keys. The hickory-smoked voice provides enough encouragement to see you through. But don’t forget the exhortations. As B.B. once told us, “He who has the last laugh always laughs best…”
“Broken” is a snazzy welter. A dystopian vision — this number streams with foam and blood. The keyboards [Bob Fridzema] actually reminded us of Richard Wright, and the colossal bass-dance [Lindsay Coulson] dynamizes the whole thing. Nimmo’s murmuring lead guitar heralds the advancing and inevitable cataclysm…
“Tear It All Up” has a glossy riff and stock KING KING ingredients, that’s to say: a combination of high quality keys, supple rhythms, an insistent chorus and an assortment of plush-panther guitars.
“Nobody Knows Your Name” has a pretzel-shaped riff pattern with clever rhymes, tense, bending rhythms and resplendent guitar. This is neat as apple-pie .
With vocals that bombinate like advancing snow-slides, fizzacular guitars that cause uncontrolled fever, psychedelic organs that hypnotize you into blindness and boogie-woogie rhythms that enthral you beyond your wits — this album has it all.
A slice of prog, an even larger portion of thrusting 80’s style rooster-rock, and enough electric blues to carry you back happily to Yazoo land — yes, this is brilliant.