King Kobra -'King Kobra'
Released through Frontier Records
Paul Shortino - vocals
David Michael-Philips - Guitar
Mick Sweda - Guitar
Johnny Rod - Bass Guitar
Carmine Appice - drums
1.) "Rock This House" - There is a Paul Shortino vocal accent over the top of this heavy intro arrangement. There is a rhythm guitar change for the musical verse. The rhythm guitar riffs of the verse consisted of several lead licks. Not only is there a rhythm guitar change for the musical verse however Carmine also changes the bass drum pattern which, in turn gives the chorus a driving beat. Underneath Paul's vocals of the chorus there are several repeated lead guitar licks. Carmine's ride rhythm of the chorus is amazing!!! There is a minor solo connecting the first chorus with the second verse. I may very well be a loon however, as the song progresses it sounds like the engineer is slowly turning up the main volume on the mixing board. After the second chorus there is a very intense lead guitar solo. The lead guitar section is one long lead guitar solo underneath Paul's vocals. The lead guitar solo over top of the coda had remnants of Steve Via.
2.) "Turn Up The Good Times" - This intro consisted of a mean sounding guitar riff. Paul sings a vocal accent to connect the intro with the musical verse. The band used the same rhythm for the musical verse as the intro they just slowed it down a tad. There is a small rhythm change for the musical chorus. Carmine has a couple real cool snare fills scattered throughout the song. From beginning to end this is a solid grooving song!
3.) "Live Forever" - Though I hate to say it however this intro reminded me of Ozzy's - "Shot In The Dark". The musical verse is very laid back. The hook for the chorus was huge!!! I think what will throw people off is Carmine's syncopated drum rhythm of the verses. With that being said the hook of the choruses are strong enough to overcome the syncopated hi-hat. There is a minor lead guitar solo underneath Paul's vocals of the coda.
4.) "Tear Down The Walls" -This is a very simple song with a huge groove to it.
5.) "This Is How We Roll" - A live track.
6.) "Midnight Woman" - This track opened with a very simple rhythm guitar riff and Carmine Appice drum line as the intro progresses the band incorporate a keyboard arrangement. There is a small Shortino vocal accent over the top of the intro section. The band used the same rhythm guitar riff for the verse as the one for the intro. The chorus had a huge hook! There is a small rhythm change after the second chorus. One of the best written guitar solos on the CD.
7.) "We Got A Fever" - ONE HELL OF A SONG!!!!!
8.) "Top Of The World" - This is a perfect King Kobra song!!!
9.) "You Make It Easy" - There is a minor lead guitar solo along with a Paul Shortino vocal accent over the top of this intro section. Instead of a verse this track opens with a chorus that consisted of huge backing vocals. The musical verse had a laid back feel. Over the top of the breakdown section there the effects of an answering machine. Over the top of the breakdown section there is a lead guitar solo that was done with some sort of wah-wah effect this leads into a acoustic lead guitar solo. Which, I absolutely was not expecting. This along with the backing vocals completely blew me away.
10.) "Crying Turns To Rain" -This is an amazing ballad!!!!
11.) "Screaming For More" - This track opens with a huge Carmine snare fill before going into a drum line. When Carmine begins the drum line Johnny kicks-in the bass line. On the second measure the rhythm guitar kicks-in with a pick slide before going into a blues riff. Over the top of the rhythm guitar Paul sings a couple vocal accents. There is a small drum fill connecting the intro with the musical verse. There is a rhythm guitar change for the musical verse. The chorus has a mean riff to it. About half way through the song there is a huge timing change. I'll be honest I wasn't halfway paying attention at the time then all of a sudden it was like where the hell did that come from. This shows you why these guys have individually been around as long as they have!!!
12.) "Fade Away" -This is just a simple Paul Shortino/King kobra ballad.
Sometime around '85, I purchased Vinnie Appice's - 'Rock Steady' and Carmine Appice's Hot Licks VHS and the book 'The Updated Realistic Rock Method'. Not only did I catch Hell from the garage band I was playing in, I caught hell from my high school stage band. Long story short this Hell I caught was because as the time Vinnie was playing the band Dio (Ronnie you are still missed by many) and the only thing anyone knew of Carmine was the split second on Ozzy's - 'Bark At The Moon'. Then I caught more Hell when carmine is doing a little showman work and drills the mic instead of the cymbal (thanks buddy). However I have always told everyone even Vinnie it was the Appice brothers that mastered my drum skills. The morel of the story is after you see your jaw drop after a drummer plays. Don't judge their back catalog!
In 1985, after leaving The Ozzy Ozbourne band Carmine formed King Kobra (After seeing King Kobra open for Kiss on Kiss's 'Asylum Tour' I was redeemed for the VHS) King Kobra release three great CD's titled, 'Ready To Strike', ' Thrill of a Lifetime' ad 'III', before Carmine called it a day on the band.
The new release simply titled, 'King Kobra' consists of the original line-up except vocalist Marcie (Mark) Free (Who currently is fronting the band Unruly Child). I have it on good authority that Carmine ask Marcie to be involved in the project to which she declided. I will as much as can try my damnedest to not compare the first three King Kobra releases with Marcie with the new one with Paul.
Simply put the first two King Kobra releases ('Hunger' & 'Thrill Of A Lifetime') that consisted of Marcie Free on vocals. Which by the way still rank up there as two of the most underrated melodic releases of the eighties. And you have King Kobra of 2011! What's the difference you ask? Well besides having to check Carmine out of the rest home for band practice, you have Paul Shortino. The greatest vagabond vocalist of all time.
When you find yourself constantly hitting the rewind button on your CD player is when you know the band recorded a masterpiece and this is exactly what this is a masterpeice!!!!! And that is exactly what this is a masterpiece!!!!