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Album Review: Black King Cobra – Law of Attraction

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With what seems like an unending raft of fresh, young talent across the UK you have to wonder
what these bands will have to do to break through. With a completely different music industry these
days it becomes harder and harder to get recognised and although there are punters out there
screaming for bands to sound like their old heroes I do not think that is the way forward.
I reckon Black King Cobra have the element that will push them all the way, with one word you can
describe their feel, their attitude and the incredible music they play…individuality. I hear a lot of
music, I attend a lot of gigs and I want a band to grab me and throw something at me that nobody
else does.
BKC debut EP is a scorcher, every track is top class and “Law of Attraction” is exactly the same. I
am lucky enough to have heard these tracks live so I cannot class them as new music but with just
that one EP it is a pleasure to not to have to hit replay so often.
When you have such an impressive live band it can be difficult to catch that energy on record but
with such amazing talent it has been pulled off with ease. Even with half the band members
changing recently they have seamlessly moved forward. Changing the whole rhythm section in any
band is a tough one but when a band like BKC is so heavily influenced by the beat of the drum and
the thump on bass it could have been a disaster but when this band deals with mechanical problems
with pretty much every gig they just get down to business and created an amazing second release.
Opening track “Harvest Moon” goes for your throat and eardrums from the off. The beautiful, yet
distorted guitars of Ross Clark try to burrow right into your brain. Then we get that rhythm picking
up the tempo before it slows down and you get your first taste of one of the best singers in Glasgow.
His vocals slowly build to the chorus which takes the tempo up to 11 and will have you screaming
“Can’t you see it” as loud as if you were at their live show( a bit embarrassing as I am in
public…and nobody deserves the pain of hearing me sing).
Like everything BKC do the song weaves, meanders and slithers like their name portrays. The bass
is amazing, the guitars hectic and all over the place(a bit like the instruments player on stage). This
song is already a live favourite and when you hear it broken down here you know why.
Up next is another live song that rips your head off. “Shiver” is another slow burner. Callum’s voice
starts with an almost sleepy feel before he lets the power loose. When he lets rip with the lyrics
“Shiver that is under your skin” it takes me back to the very first time I witnessed this band live. I
was hooked from the very first song and they have been under my skin since then and when I listen
to Callum in full swing or watching the band jam I get shivers.
This song is a masterpiece, a beautifully arranged number that will have you laid back and then
headbanging till your neck hurts. There is nothing simple about a BKC song and this is a perfect
example of that individuality I spoke of earlier. No one is doing songs like this, a song with groove
in its veins, blues under its skin and a heart full of soul.
“Ball and Chain” is up next and the guitars and new boy Rob Kennedy on bass are incredible. To
watch a band in a live environment you can miss so much but with the song playing through my
speakers at full volume I take in every complexity, every slide down that guitar, every slapped
fretboard and every drum stroke. This is another song that just reiterates how good BKC are.
Like a flash we are onto the last song and “Quake”. Callum goes for an indie/punk feel for the intro
before letting the power out once again. This is a much newer track and has only had one live
outing to my knowledge and it is a fierce monster. It is a true rocker from the off with a brilliant
guitar/bass breakdown. It has a backbone of grunge with some James brown vocals. This band can
mix and match any influence and a few people may be surprised with this song…I gave up being
surprised with this band long ago.
Usually I can review, give pointers or let a band know what didn’t work for me but if this band
came up to me looking for any of this I would shake my head and walk away. My instrument may
be my ears but I cannot work on the same level as these guys, they walk their own path and that is
how it should stay. They need to explore, they need to do what others are not. They need to keep
down this path that they started on and most of all, believe in themselves. They cannot be pushed in
any direction as this music is on another level. They need please no one other than themselves as
“Law of Attraction” is outstanding.
Second releases are often the toughest one as you have so much to step up to, the worry it will not
be as liked as much as the original, that people will think it is too similar/too different. Pressure can
end a bands career with one badly done release but this EP is the stepping stone this band needs to
break out.
Black King Cobra are the real deal, talent to die for, songs to kill for and a live show that is not to
be missed. If this band do not make it I am packing this reviewing nonsense in as there would be no
justice in the world but I know without doubt I need not worry. “Law of Attraction” will have old
fans delirious and it will have new fans flocking to them. This EP is not to be missed so make sure
you get your copy when it is released and if you are local to Glasgow ensure you make it to the EP
release show in the famous King Tuts Wah Wah hut on 3rd August as it is set to be one of the shows
of the year.
Review Ritchie Birnie

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