Meet King Creature. They are getting their wheels in motion and are in the running for big things. Having already played with rock and metal legends such as Motörhead, Megadeth, Hellyeah and Down, these four very talented musicians from Cornwall are fresh out of the studio recording their debut Volume One.
This exquisite album was recorded at Abbey Road Studios with producer Rob Cass (Slash, Brian May, Jack Bruce, Bernie Marsden) who perfectly captured the vibe of the band’s high octane live performances whilst simultaneously coaxing the very best out of the young musicians. Rob Cass also manages new record label Marshall Records, to which the group are signed.
Vocalist and bassist Dave Kellaway’s vocal style reminds me a little of Dave Wyndorf (Monster Magnet) and in part this gives the vocals a slightly over-processed sound, making me all the more interested to see them live to see how that is interpreted in a live setting.
I can hear sonic influences from the grunge era too, but with a much cleaner approach. But if sound quality wasn’t a key feature for this album then it would certainly be a surprise. The guys at Marshall Amplification endorsed multi-instrumentalist and guitarist Matt K Vincent in 2014 which says a lot about Matt’s dedication to quality.
Opening track “Lowlife” does what it is supposed to and provides a flaming gateway into the soundscape for which we’ll come to know and love King Creature. It’s complete with catchy chorus, deep groove, strong rhythm section with some great drum fills and that pristine guitar sound with a Slash-esque solo for good measure. Lyrically it’s very current too.
Track three, “Can’t Be Saved”, brings the pace down to a more gritty and grungy tune with layered vocals and this is where I am feeling some Alice in Chains undertones. It’s melancholy without being too dark, topped off by a stunning moody solo, an absolute treat.
Hubby walks in while “Power” is playing and says “Ooh I like this, they’re like a modern-day Black Sabbath” and he’s totally right, but it seems to come through more so on this track than any others. I’m loving the groove on catchy earworm “The Pusher” and the way the track, along with much of the album, is forcing through the boundaries of hard rock and blurring them into metal.
Next track “Can You Forgive Me” was a total surprise – I wasn’t expecting to hear a ballad among these fresh-faced rock songs. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a really beautiful song, but the album wouldn’t have been lacking anything without it. Rather than being disappointed that they could be just another modern rock band, the more I listen the more I think they are simply demonstrating their competence in all areas of the genre. A little safe? Maybe, but when the quality is this good, you can let it slide.
The album wraps up with the faster paced “Wrath” and reveals another blurred edge between rock and metal, a brilliantly thrashy solo and a further demonstration that this Cornish quad is seriously flying the flag for modern hard rock.
Volume One is released on Friday 29th September on Marshall Records