FUNK me! Another Aussie hard rock act lets loose with a stormer. From DC, to Rose Tattoo all the way up to Jet and Airbourne our colonial cousin must be bringing their children up the right way.
Latest to raise the hard rockin’ standard aloft are Palace of the King, and act that sound so steeped in the blues infused hard rocking that their début release sounds as if they’ve been plying their trade for decades.
‘White Bird/Burn The Sky’ however, is not a one-dimensional album of rock re-treads. They are willing to expand beyond the template.
‘Burn My Bridges’ brings the blues with funk elements, and lead-off single ‘Another Thing Coming’ has psychedelic leanings.
But, they are not flitting around genres for the sake of trying to appeal to a wider audience because they never lose sight of the fact that you need the power of the rock riff.
Tim Henwood’s vocals have both high pitched groove and silky smooth selections of intonation, all woven around Leigh Madden and Matthew Harrison’s guitars and Sean Johnston’s keyboards.
‘White Bird (Bring Your Armies To Me’) is an immense exposition of hard rock, with Hendwood veering between sounding like a young Robert Plant and Jack White. It has insistent riifs rolling as this mid-paced songs builds more and more elements across its six-minute span.
Johnston’s keyboards on the intro to ‘Ain’t Got Nobody To Blame But Myself’ gives way to a soulful take on the blues with funk-tastic and metallic moments.
Throughout the album Andrew Gilpin’s bass and Anthony Troiano’s drums do more than just lay down the rhythm. Like the rest of the band (Henwood also provides percussion) they seem determined to add atmosphere to each track.
Topped with Henwoods’ vocals ‘Devil’s Daughter’ sounds like ZZ Top want to sound like today and Arlo Guthrie sounded like when he was still a kid at Woodstock
And, ‘Get Back Up (Burn The Sky)’ even has harmonica heaven for old school rockers...
This is an album that has such rich rock textures and is rooted in a thought process that says we’ll write what we are happy with and just enjoy.
The only fear is that Palace of The King deliver on rock with so many additional texture is that the feckin’ scenesters and hipsters on mainstream radio will pick up on them and the planned UK October dates will see us plagued by men is stupidly square shaped beards...But, hell even if they are there us real fans of Aussie hard rock will still be lining up to Burn the Sky.
Palace of the King’s White Bird/Burn The Sky is out now on Listenable Records.
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Review by Jonny