When writing for Decibel Geek, I am sometimes contacted regarding new or upcoming bands. What is occasionally annoying is when one of them is pretty local and has played one of my home town’s venues not so long ago and I missed them. However, as they say “better late than never”. This is the case with Glasgow based hard rockers Black King Cobra.
I was lucky enough to be sent their new EP being released August 3 with a showcase gig at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in their home town of Glasgow.
The EP Songs
I hit play before I even got around to reading their press release. What I heard immediately grabbed my attention.
“Harvest Moon” starts with an urgency, almost like an emergency siren but on guitar, before the rest of the band kick in with a mighty powerful riff. Then, just as quickly, it drops into a slower groove with crystal clear vocals leading into a very easy to sing chorus. There is a sweet section just past half way which allows for an audience clap along, mixed up with the chorus fleeting in and out. It then speeds up with the main riff coming through again. 4 minutes long and an absolute blast of a song.
Throughout the four songs, the band show a great grasp of writing quality choruses along with riffs and melodies that seep quickly into your subconscious. They also have the ability (and bravery) to allow breathing space in songs and, with a very clear production, each member is able to be heard and make their mark on every song. It is old school 1970’s rock, which has funk and soul running through it. However, as “Quake” shows, they are not just stuck listening to those very old classic albums due to its Soundgarden vibe, even in the vocal department. More like the Superunknown or Down On The Upside albums, but Soundgarden for sure.
The stop start section of “Ball And Chain” is great fun and live should cause some serious headbanging confusion, as folks try to keep up. “Shiver” is more of a ballad, but even in that there is some touches of hard rocking funk going on.
On this showing, Black King Cobra are a band to watch out for.
Band History Up To Now
The band themselves formed in 2016, when two guys Johnny Keel (bass) and Steve Todd (drums) joined forces with guitarist Ross Clark, who they apparently met online. Having started working on tunes, they decided to send those to a lyric writer called Callum Moran who came up with the words. He joined the band as vocalist. The group played their first ever time as a band at an open mike night. They obviously gelled quickly.
Now 2018, the two original members have departed (one due to becoming a father) and in have come Robert Kennedy on bass and Stephen Buggy on drums.
They have only played a handful of shows in the great scheme of things, but have garnered praise from luminaries such as Chris Glen (ex SAHB and now Michael Schenker Group) and famous rock and metal radio DJ Tom Russell.
Purchase EP UK (as of Friday August 3)