Album Reviews

King Kobra – King Kobra

Released by: Frontiers Records

Release Date: May 03, 2011

Genre: Melodic Hard Rock


Line Up:

Paul Shortino – vocals

David Michael-Philips – Guitar

Mick Sweda – Guitar

Johnny Rod – Bass Guitar

Carmine Appice – drums


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

There’s no sense denying it or trying to pass it on, because I have been looking forward to the new album from the Melodic Hard Rock outfit King Kobra. Maybe you’ve heard of them if you’re a baby from the 80’s, but in case you haven’t you will suffice to find out that these guys then lead and founded by former Beck, Bogert & Appice legendary drummer Carmine Appice, the older brother of Vinny Appice of Dio fame.  The man’s already iconic career in the rock business has been stamped onto the decks of rocks greats and some of his past bands and projects range from his time Beck, Bogert & Appice as mentioned above, Cactus, Vanilla Fudge, appearances on records with Paul Stanley and Ted Nugent and the great resume goes on and on. But perhaps the most significant impact is the influence he has had on already famous drummers from Nicko Mcbrain of Iron Maiden to Neil Peart of Rush. That alone is a feat worth mentioning.

Appice ventured into the Hard Rock realm in the 80’s like so many bands did and found an avenue to unleash his bad ass drum prowess in his band King Kobra. The band featured four relatively unknown musicians at the time – David Michael-Philips and Mick Sweda on guitar, Johnny Rod on bass and Mark Free on lead vocals. Even with an mystery behind the name, the band held nothing back and went on to release what some consider classics Melodic Hard Rock records by Capitols Records, the 1985 release ‘Ready to Strike’ and 1986’s ‘Thrill of a Lifetime’.

I know I have beaten a dead horse before about Frontiers and their president but the guy has a passion for this kind of music and as long as these bands are still around they will never forget how to rock and for that I am welcoming the new highly anticipated record by King Kobra, titled simply that.

Of course a new line up has emerged with this one and I was ecstatic to find out that Paul Shortino took over the vocal helms, a strong hard rock vocalist with plenty of experience and backbone to lead a rocking outfit like these guys and underrated in my eyes. If you remember he led another kick ass group in the 80’s called Rough Cutt. Rhythm and Bass cuts some brass with former Keel and Lizzy Borden guitarist David Michael Philips and bassist Johnny Rod  from W.A.S.P) fame.

From spinning this one a few times there is a timely evidence of a band that knows how to rock and bring it . The undeniable drumming of Appice’s on the funky track “We Got A Fever” flashes the blade nicely and has a classic rock feel to it. The steamy racy appeal of “Midnight Woman” may fill the heart of every hard rocking lady that still wears black today with blunted emotion, not to mention an addictive chorus to lead the way. The fine piece of scorching Hard Rock shreds lead on the pounding of “This Is How We Roll” a tune which has anthem classic written all over it. One of my favorites has to be the humming chorus in the treacherous gem of “You Make It Easy” where Shortino really shines with his graspy vocals.

Hey let’s face the truth here you if you’re a fan of Melodic Hard Rock this is already on your top list and the fact that these veteran musicians demand total ownership of the instruments make it even more easy to digest these retro tunes. The total sense of rocking entitlement will never leave bands like these and you get a sense that the record was made for the fans and to just rock out and blast it out loud like it’s meant to be. Is great to hear Carmine still go at it after so many years and with help from people like Shortino, you have an album that will reassure fans of the genre that still plunging forward with exhilaration and without boundaries.  The Kobra strikes deadly, well this Kobra not the other one that is also making waves. Approved with a Hard Rock seal mother truckers…….get it!!!.

Written by Denys

Ratings Denys   8/10

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