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King Kobra
King Kobra
April 2011
Released: 2011, Frontiers Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Waspman

It seems like almost every classic hard rock band has been making a “triumphant” return over the last few years, with sometimes painful results. Some have been quite successful (i.e. Whitesnake, another band reviewed this month), while other less so. Now we have ‘80s third-stringers King Kobra making their return. You may remember them for albums like READY TO STRIKE or THRILL OF A LIFETIME which contained their most widely known song, “Iron Eagle (Never Say Die)”. In the ensuing years, band members came and went (most notably to W.A.S.P. and the Bulletboys), and the band had a couple of half-hearted reunions. This time, to their credit, four fifths of the original band is back together. Unfortunately, original singer Marcie Free has seemingly left the music business for the most part and is not involved. However, the band has recruited ex-Rough Cutt powerhouse vocalist Paul Shortino as replacement, so not much is lost.



I must admit, that aside from “Iron Eagle”, I have no previous experience listening to King Kobra, but given their origins and era, I pretty much knew what to expect. Sure enough, KING KOBRA is chock full of melodic hard rock anthems that are both kick ass and are catchy as hell. Just to dispel any doubts about their intentions, the band kick off the album with two pure fun rockers with “Rock This House” and “Turn Up the Good Times”. These are songs in the classic ‘80s hard rock style with soaring vocals, catchy riffs, and sing-along choruses. Good times indeed.



Some of the best songs come later in the album with the brooding to uplifting “Live Forever” where Shortino really gets to show off, the cruising “Midnight Woman”, and should-be-a-hit-single “Top of the World”. All in all, the band proves that they’ve lost nothing in the 25 years since their heyday. There are some clunkers though, like the cringe-inducing “Screamin’ for More”, which is just embarrassing coming from men in the late ‘50s/early ‘60s. Still, KING KOBRA is a damn fun album and belongs in any rockers’ collection.
Track Listing

Paul Shortino: Vocals
David Michael-Philips: Guitar
Mick Sweda: Guitar
Johnny Rod: Bass
Carmine Appice: Drums

Lineup

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) Crying Turns to Rain
11) Screamin’ for More
12) Fade Away


Next review: » King Lizard - Live N Red Raw (DVD)
Previous review: » King Kobra - II





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