KICKIN VALENTINA – Super Atomic (2015)
Scandinavia is the current breeding ground for all things sleaze, but KICKIN VALENTINA are bound and determined to carry the flag of the genre in America. Yes, there’s a difference between sleaze / sleazy, the first sporting an European, more melodic style. ‘Sleazy’ refers to an American sound, a hard rock blend made popular by Motley Crue, La Guns and alike.
In other words, Kickin Valentina smell more like gasoline than hairspray on their “Super Atomic” released today, indeed a kickin’ collection of songs that packs a ‘Mike Tyson in his prime’ punch.
Hailing from Atlanta and featuring former Rockets to Ruin bassist Chris Taylor, this may not be the first destination one would expect to find a killer new hard rock band, yet that is exactly where Kickin Valentina came together — a group that have been together for five years and who could convincingly have called themselves ‘kickin ass’.
The star here is vocalist Joe Edwards, who has one of those raspy deliveries tailor-made for sleazy hard rock.
However no band is successful without capable musicians backing things up, and, of course, good songs… Kickin Valentina have all in spades.
“Explicit On My Side” gets the festivities off to a sleazy start with all the ingredients that made the ’80s Sunset Strip great. The band sounds tight, pumping, aggressive but clear. The riff and overall rhythm makes you to tap your foot with no pause.
“Wrong Way” is more groovy and with a solid pulse, followed by the slightly hair metal of “When You’re Gone”, effective and catchy.
Then “Fist ‘n’ Twist” hits you strongly. This hyper-driven little number is like a fist on your face, burrowing its way through your head with screaming guitars, a heavy bottom end and vocals perfectly aged with cheep booze and stale cigarettes.
“Super Atomic Poster Boy” is perhaps the more commercial cut of the bunch, and the more melodic. The chorus is ridiculously catchy with some early (not the bluesy) Great White.
“Get Ready” is from Kickin Valentina’s previous EP (as all tracks following), a song so whoa-whoa contagious you may not wanna bring it home – check the double-kick fills by drummer Jimmy Berdine.
Speaking of contagious, “Dirty Girl” grinds along on a riff that could’ve been borrowed from Dirty Looks. Hard to go wrong with that.
“Alone” could be considered Kickin Valentina’s attempt at a ballad, but it has far bigger balls than your standard sappy love song, while containing one of the band’s most accessible chorus.
“Eat And Run” begins its pulsating descent into the sewers of American sleazy hard rock starting with original out-of-sync vocals that slowly pick up steam to merge nicely with the hard-charging music. The vocals again steal the spotlight, but the chunked-up power chords and a tasty solo from guitarist Heber Pampillion help make the song one of the highlights.
Kickin Valentina are more than a promise, they easily can lead the crestfallen US sleazy hard rock scene with their brand of catchy songs and tight muscianship. They have already toured with Skid Row, Sebastian Bach, Faster Pussycat and more, and are ready for bigger things.
“Super Atomic” it’s fast, hard, but harmonious, dirty in attitude but perfectly recorded & produced with a clean delivery.
Crank it in the car or at the gym. This will get you going.
01 – Explicit On My Side
02 – Wrong Way
03 – When You’re Gone
04 – Fist ‘n’ Twist
05 – Super Atomic Poster Boy
06 – Some Kind of Sex
07 – Get Ready
08 – Dirty Girl
09 – Alone
10 – Anita
11 – Eat and Run
Joe Edwards – vocals
Heber Pampillon – guitar
Chris Taylor – bass
Jimmy Berdine – drums
BUY IT !