THE KING LOT – The King Lot (2015)
After the really good new THE KING LOT album, some of you asked for the band’s self-titled debut, an album that you need to check out for sure.
The members of Scottish hard rock trio THE KING LOT (who was the eponymous King of Lothian in the Arthurian legend, if you wondered where the band’s name came from), have been around in various different bands and projects over the years before they decided to pull together in 2014 and officially launch the band.
Since then, they’ve traveled the continent sharing stages with The Answer, Vain, H.E.A.T, Supercharger and more, but their self-titled album is the first recording they’ve done together, and sometimes it takes a bold step like this to realise what power this trio have together.
When I say power, I’m not talking about huge guitar riffs and thundering drums, but more simply the ability to write not just one great song, but an album choc full of them.
The first track, “As They Burn”, is probably one of the fastest tracks presented by the band with frontman and bass player Jason Sweeney really stretching himself as he navigates his way through the wordy verses before he settles down as he reaches the catchy chorus.
There’s also a great central guitar riff, courtesy of Michael Fairbairn, and as the song reaches it’s conclusion he gives you a hint of what a prodigious guitar talent he really is. Of course, the third member of this band, drummer Chris Gillon, is just as important and he’s also more than a match for Sweeney and Fairbairn in terms of musical talent.
“One Of These Days” is a huge singalong mid tempo rocker that’s full of melody and the chorus really hooks you. The sound is anthemic and wouldn’t sound out of place within an arena rock environment.
“Addicted”, a song about unrequited love, is addictive indeed. After Gillon blasts out the drum beats during the intro, the song settles down to a nice paced number and it becomes one of the best vocal performances from Sweeney. There’s another catchy chorus that grabs you quickly and doesn’t easily let you go.
The mid-point of the album is “Let’s Get Together” which is another track kicked off by Gillons solid drumming before Sweeney joins in with the bass line as the song quickly gathers pace. The pair of them provide a solid base for the rest of the song to lie on as the guitar hook from Fairbairn drives the songs.
If I had to choose a favourite track then without a doubt it’s “All Is Not Lost” which, it turns out, is the album’s sole ballad. Slow and moody are the key words here, with Gillon playing a soft and simple drum beat which is pushed to the back of the mix as some long, flowing guitar chords from Fairbairn take center stage, making this a real highlight.
Sweeney’s vocals sound not unlike Joe Elliott (Def Leppard) at his very best here and, especially during the verses, every nuance is uttered by Sweeney with pure emotion. This outstanding track is pretty much guaranteed to get the crowd swaying along during a live gig and if the band are looking for a radio friendly single to get their name out there, then I honestly don’t think they need to look any further than this track.
There’s more rockers in “Until My Dying Day” with gritty gruff vocals, while “The Bang Of A Drum” the more modern on the CD, with prominent guitar licks which sound so sweet that fade out to the end of the track.
Album closer, “Queen Of Hearts” is a nice change of sound as the band swap the electric guitars for acoustic ones. You can practically hear the joy from the band as they slip effortlessly through the number, which sounds like it was recorded as a band in one single take.
The King Lot’s debut album certainly impresses greatly. It demonstrates great songwriting abilities full of tracks that have huge melodies carved out of solid musicianship along with some very catchy choruses.
It is nice to hear the kicking drumming from Chris Gillon driving the album along with some sweet rhythms coming from Jason Sweeney’s bass, while Michael Fairbairn creates prominent riffs throughout with his guitar.
It should be said too that Sweeney puts in a great bluesy oriented vocal performance here, inspired by hard rock singers from the Eighties / Nineties. The album is well mixed, produced and polished by Martin Merenyi, with clean sounds throughout.
“The King Lot” as a whole is full of good solid rocking, sometimes hard though a little modern crept in here and there. This powerhouse Scottish trio have delivered a formidable debut album that promises so much more from them in the future.
01 – As They Burn
02 – One of These Days
03 – Addicted
04 – Telegram
05 – Ghost of You
06 – Lets Get Together
07 – Until My Dying Day
08 – All Is Not Lost
09 – The Bang of a Drum
10 – Queen of Hearts
Jason Sweeney – Vocals, Bass
Michael Fairbairn – Guitars
Chris Gillon – Drums
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