King Kobra - 'Sweden Rock Live' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 23, 2018    
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I think I enjoyed it more than those present; thank the Lord for "knob twiddling".

Formed in 1985, disbanded in 1988, reformed in 2010 and then put on a self-imposed hiatus in 2013 are probably the rudimentary reasons that King Kobra didn't make the dizzy heights of Rock superstardom. They've certainly had the musicianship and stage persona to harvest huge support, but their erratic existence has arguably suppressed their overall standing in the hallowed pantheon of Rock hitherto.

The brainchild of "legendary" drummer Carmine Appice (Blue Murder, Ozzy Osbourne etc.), and home, albeit temporary, to such luminaries as Mark (Marcie) Free (Unruly Child), Jeff Northrup and Kelly Keeling (Baton Rouge), to name but three, King Kobra have released a creditable eight albums, their most notable being their debut 'Ready To Strike' (1985), 'Thrill Of A Lifetime' (1986), both with Free on vocals, and most recently 'King Kobra' (2011) and 'King Kobra II' (2013) with current vocalist Paul Shortino (Rough Cutt, Quiet Riot) who took over in 2010.

Cover versions aside, all the songs on this inaugural live album are taken from those four albums. Joining Appice and Shortino are Jordan Ziff (guitar), David Henzerling (guitar) and mainstay Johnny Rod (bass).From the opening riff of 'Ready To Strike', I'm pleased to say that the production is of a decent quality and captures the band in good and energetic form; of course, some serious "knob twiddling" has no doubt occurred prior to release, but that's only to be expected, isn't it? Sadly, that energy cannot be applied to the audience who sound like four pensioners having a game of dominoes in their local pub! No wonder Shortino's interaction is negligible!

Included here also are 'Shadow Rider' and 'Hunger' (from the debut), plus 'Tear Down The Walls', 'Live Forever' and 'Turn Up The Good (Times)' (from 'King Kobra'), 'Knock 'Em Dead' and 'Ballad Of Johnny Rod' (from '... II'), and not forgetting 'Raise Your Hands To Rock' (from 'Thrill...); they just about cover their notable periods of existence. The up-tempo, spirited vibe is largely maintained, until a bass solo, their dalliance with Deep Purple's 'Highway Star', a Dio tribute ('Heaven And Hell') and a drum solo (Appice's prerogative?) kills the impetus. Closing songs 'Raise Your Hands To Rock' and 'Turn Up The Good (Times)', which should've been switched, attempt to rescue the lethargy, but by now, the damage has been done.

I think I enjoyed it more than those present; thank the Lord for "knob twiddling"!

Dave Crompton

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