Album Reviews

King Kobra – II Review

king kobra_II Cover

Released by: Frontiers Records

Release Date: July 9th, 2013

Genre: Hard Rock



Line Up:

Carmine Appice

David Henzerling

Mick Sweda

Johnny Rod

Paul Shortino



01. Hell On Wheels

02. Knock ‘Em Dead

03. Have A Good Time

04. The Ballad Of Johnny Rod

05. Take Me Back

06. When The Hammer Comes Down

07. Running Wild

08. The Crunch

09. Got It Comin’

10. Deep River

11. Don’t Keep Me Waiting

12. We Go Round


King Kobra is back and with a vengeance! With probably the best album they’ve ever done, with the release of II on Frontier Records, they continue on the high started with their s/t release a couple years ago. From the opening track, the blisteringly incredible “Hell On Wheels” I was instantly hooked. This is one of the best songs I have heard from any band in a very long time. It’s so good; the rest of the album suffers a little from having to follow it, in fact. I’ve been a fan of theirs through every incarnation and line-up change through the years. Never really accepted as the premiere band, but typically regarded by the fans as one of the good ones.

Giving the band a big shot in the arm, besides having pretty much the entire original line-up other than original singer Mark Free (now known as Marcie Free,) is the addition of vocal powerhouse Paul Shortino. His down and dirty, soulful blues style is a perfect fit for their reunion. Having been a fan of his with Rough Cutt and the much maligned QRIII with Quiet Riot (which perplexes me as it’s a helluva album,) and his solo work I was eager to hear what he would offer in King Kobra when it was announced that he was joining them in their reunion. Not to take anything away from Free, Johnny Edwards, or Kelly Keeling, all fantastic singers, but Shortino has always been one of my fav’s. His passion and delivery always accentuate the songs he’s performs on, including their reunion debut in 2011. As for the songs on II, I’ve already mentioned “Hell On Wheels,” but beyond that tracks like “Take Me Back,” “Running Wild,” and “We Go Round” are also superior. In fact, I can’t really name one song I didn’t enjoy.

I’m so glad that King Kobra is back and as strong as ever. And I hope they keep on their ascension of awesome. As long as they keep releasing albums as strong as this one, there should be no worries about them sticking around. And as a long time fan, that’s excellent news.



Written by Chris Martin

Ratings    Chris    9/10

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