Review: King King – Standing In The Shadows

Posted on: Tuesday, Apr 2, 2013

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King King – Standing In The Shadows

(Manhaton Records: HATMAN 2031)

Hard to know where to start here really . . . except to say that the second album from King King, “Standing In The Shadows”,  is absolutely flawless! A superb 10-track collection, boasting an original eight tracks mainly penned by guitarist and vocalist Alan Nimmo, and bass player, Lindsay Coulson. The rest of the band comprise Wayne Proctor on drums and percussion, and Bennett Holland, on keyboards and backing vocals.

Without pigeon-holing the band into the dreaded ‘blues rock’ category, this is just damned fine music . . . from the playing, songs, production, etc. Alan Nimmo’s sparkling guitar work has been well known about for years now, as co-front man in The Nimmo Brothers, with sibling Stevie . . . but what grabs you here is his singing, which is truly of the highest calibre . . . both extremely soulful and gritty when required.

The album explodes into action with the strutting “More Than I Can Take”, the first of quite a few Nimmo/Coulson collaborations. It shows all the bands strengths . . . some tough guitar and vocal from Alan Nimmo, the driving rhythm section of Lindsay Coulson and Wayne Proctor, embellished with Bennett Holland’s fine keyboard work. The pace is taken down on the soulful “Taken What’s Mine”, which leads into the masterful ballad of “A Long History Of Love” – it’s a beautiful song which never overstaying its welcome at seven minutes plus, as Alan Nimmo pours his soul out on the vocal, and sterling performances all-round again.

The two covers are well chosen and very well suited to the band – a glorious take on Scottish legend Frankie Miller’s song “Jealousy” – what a song and what a performance from Nimmo especially here, with a stunning vocal and some melodic guitar work. The Free classic “Heavy Load” is also tailor-made for the band, again showing the soulful side of King King as it builds from its keyboard intro to some powerful guitar and the pulsating rhythm section.

Elsewhere, “What Am I Supposed To Do” is a perfect radio-friendly tune that the band seem to have absolutely nailed; things are lifted by the fierce, crunching rocker “One More Time Around”, a swaggering belter that fairly rattles along. The melodic and breezy “Can’t Keep From Trying” is another fine Nimmo / Coulson composition that just begs to be played on the radio . . . excellent stuff indeed!

Now firmly established on the live and recording scene in the space of just a couple of years, King King seem destined for the top, with their incendiary live shows making waves throughout the UK and Europe . . . all power to their elbow. If I gave stars, a definite five . . . well done fellas!

GRAHAME RHODES

www.kingking.com

www.manhatonrecords.com

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