KK return with an album titled Maverick which is anything but that. Well, not exactly anything, more of a tune-up and refit of their trademark classic rock sound saturated in a deep shade of blues.
Evolution more than a retrograde retread, finds King King charging headlong forward with a maturity that sees this now five-piece fifth long-player release developing their range within the much-loved confines of this classic blues-rock genre.
With their familial roots firmly Glaswegian, yet sounding like they emerged from the American mid-West rust belt via Tennessee, there’s an uplifting FM rock vibe buzzing through most of this release.
With both Nimmo brothers supplying a twin-guitar attack, opener Never Give In asserts defiant pursuance of their Bad Company infused sound with its hooky guitar riffs. Fire In My Soul continues this M.O. before a funky keyboard motif takes KK slightly off-road on I Will Not Fall.
There’s a hint of southern blues feeding into the band’s sound suggesting that they have been listening to The Doobie Brothers as End Of The Line closes this album. This engaging influence further develops King King’s recorded catalogue whilst strongly retaining the core influences that took this band from their bedrooms into the pub circuit and onto larger stages.
In an attempt to expand their repertoire, the couple of ballads which might have been intended to add balance to the sequencing, actually fall off-kilter lacking a high-level mixture of melody and drama that drags the momentum of an otherwise smooth powered ride.
Unmemorable power ballads aside, Maverick re-surfaces King King’s well-travelled road of bluesy rock in an if it ain’t broken don’t deconstruct manner.
(Channel 9 Records)
By Paul Davies