I am the first to admit that I tend to over analyse things. It’s a cross to bear and a habit that sometimes takes you on an interesting journey of self-realisation. That or I am just romanticising the fact that on the paper, Black King Cobra aren’t necessarily the type of band that I would rush to pick up the CD based on their description alone: groove rock. What the hell is that? It sounds as dull as dishwater, doesn’t it? This is where this moment of self-analysis comes and we start this narrative. So why exactly do I love them so much? I’ll be honest it was love at first sound. I don’t do “groove rock”, so what went wrong?
Hopefully, this guide to Law of Attraction will tell you everything you need to know about Black King Cobra and their latest EP and will help you (and ultimately me, this is my therapy piece after all) understand why I am prepared to share my most inner thoughts with you.
For those who don’t know Black King Cobra yet – it is only a matter of time before you do – they are a 4-piece from Glasgow formed in mid-July 2016. Like many bands, they have taken a little while to find their feet and the right members. Law of Attraction is their second EP and the first with the new settled line-up. I loved the first EP but this one is just on a completely different level. In only a very short time they seem to have taken a journey that took them from interesting, but naïve sounding and acting, new kids on the block to produce an EP of such exceptional quality and maturity that you start to wonder if you have fallen into some sort of wormhole to come out the other side where Black King Cobra rule the universe.
Opening track “Harvest Moon” probably provides me with my first thoughtful scratch. I generally like an EP to start with a bang and knock you out flat yet BKC seem to creep up on you. A single guitar builds into a (hate to say it) pretty groovy opening section before it quietens down again for the vocals. Yet instantly, the moment those vocals kick in, you are smitten. Maybe it is the melody, maybe its the pace; I am not sure but actually as the bridge builds into the chorus there is something incredibly joyous about this track. If anything, songs on this EP and this track remind me of an early Pearl Jam, they not only share some similarities of style but also charisma.
“Shiver” continues in a similar vein and by now it is apparent that there is a confidence in this EP that takes you along for the ride. Both in the presentation of the songs and those vocals. This is the sound of a band coming into blossom and as result, it is totally addictive. If I had to compare it to anything I would almost mirror it the debut album from Thunder (Backstreet Symphony), although the sound itself is not the same. The impact that the band and vocals have together has that same feel, an excitement of something new but a maturity that makes you wonder where have this band been all your life.
Unusually, for a 4 track EP, it actually gets stronger with each song and “Ball And Chain” takes that groove rock and places it firmly into the funk groove Living Colour territory. It has the catchiness and funk of Living Colour whilst still retaining a distinct BKC sound. I love the instrumental break and guitar solo.
“Quake” may be the last song but it is definitely my favourite of the EP. Most probably because it rocks just that little bit more than the other tracks and who doesn’t like some wild abandonment even on an EP as well orchestrated as this? It has the combination of rockier guitars but also the confidence to break down and let the vocal lead in the punctuated style that is becoming their signature and when this combines together, it is right there where they nail it.
So no, I probably shouldn’t like it. But I promise you will, whatever your misgivings. I simply couldn’t even tell you why in detail except that this EP is a confident, bold, charismatic, joyful, sexy beast of groove rock and this band deserve to be playing much further afield than Glasgow very, very soon. When they named this EP Law of Attraction believe me they knew what they were doing.
Header image by MB Photography Scotland
Law of Attraction is out 4th August